President Donald Trump could easily pull off a victory over Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election without winning the popular vote, reports polling news site FiveThirtyEight.
Trump beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 in a similar fashion — through the Electoral College model, in which electors in each state pick the winner of the popular vote in that state. Each state has one voter for every member it sends to the House of Representatives and Senate, totaling 538.
A candidate needs 270 to win the presidency. The 14 battleground states in 2020 lean Republican, giving Trump a boost, according to FiveThirtyEight. Texas, for example, leans 10.9 percent Republican compared to the rest of the nation. Pennsylvania, which has a 32 percent chance of tipping the race in one candidate’s favor, leans Republican by just 2.5 percentage points.
“What that means is if the polls were to tighten and Biden’s national advantage slips, the rightward tilt of Pennsylvania could very well help Trump win,” writes FiveThirtyEight’s Geoffrey Skelley.
“And because most of the other likely tipping-point states lean Republican, Trump could capture enough right-leaning battleground states to win a majority in the Electoral College without winning the national popular vote.”
Biden, who has maintained a sizable lead over the president since May, currently leads by 6.5 points according to an aggregate of national polls. But Clinton was seven points ahead just three weeks ahead of the election and lost despite winning the popular vote by more than two percentage points.
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