2020 Elections: Presidential Polls and More


  • Sept. 19, 2020
  • 4 min read


Florida: Two more Florida polls were released this week showing a tightening of the race between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Both Monmouth and Florida Atlantic Universities were in the field during the September 9-13 period. Monmouth (9/10-13; 428 FL likely voters; live interview) found Mr. Biden leading 50-45% under their high turnout model, and an almost identical 49-46% if the voter participation factor proves lower. FAU (9/11-12; 831 FL likely voters; live interview and online) finds the two candidates tied at 50-50% when all respondents are pushed to make a decision. Once again, Florida is a very close state but a must-win for President Trump.

Maine: The new Quinnipiac University poll (9/10-14; 1,183 ME likely voters; live interview) finds former Vice President Joe Biden posting a huge 21-point lead over President Trump, 59-38%. The data suggests that the President would even lose the 2nd Congressional District, which should provide him an important extra electoral vote. In ME-2, Mr. Trump would trail Mr. Biden, 53-44%. No other Maine survey has returned numbers as stark as these. Therefore, we can expect to see more polling conducted here in order to confirm this trend or provide a different result.

Minnesota: Looking at the Minnesota race where recent polling has suggested a tightening of the presidential contest within the state, NYT/Siena (9/8-10; 814 MN likely voters; live interview) sees Joe Biden holding a stronger lead over President Trump than other current data. Here, the Biden margin is 50-41 percent. Even with this spread, the volatility seen in Minnesota suggests we will see further competition in the closing weeks.

Morning Consult also released their new data. While NYT/Siena and other polls have shown a widening in Mr. Biden’s standing to the high single-digit range, the MC track (9/4-13; 813 likely voters; selected online panel) sees only a four-point split between the national candidates with Mr. Biden maintaining a 48-44% edge. Minnesota is a must-win for the Democratic nominee.

New Hampshire: The New York Times/Siena College polling series also looked at New Hampshire (9/8-11; 445 NH likely voters; live interview) where a tight race again appears to be unfolding that looks potentially similar to what we witnessed in 2016. In that election year, Hillary Clinton carried the state by just 2,738 votes (46.8 – 46.5%) from 744,296 ballots cast. According to the NYT/SC results, former Vice President Joe Biden maintains only a three-point, 45-42%, edge over President Trump.

North Carolina: CNN (conducted through the SSRS statistical firm; 9/9-13; 787 NC likely voters; live interview through landline and mobile phones) just completed a new Tar Heel State survey and finds Joe Biden topping President Trump, 49-46%, which is statistically within the polling margin of error. The data tracks with other published polls and actually places both candidates in position to win the state. North Carolina, however, is a must-win domain for President Trump.

Wisconsin: While neighboring Minnesota has been polling closer lately, the ABC/WP survey (9/8-13; 615 MN likely voters; live interview) finds former Vice President Joe Biden opening up a much larger 57-41% lead over President Trump. This is inconsistent with other recent data (five polls) that found the margin ranging from four to nine points. It’s also seemingly at odds with ABC/WP’s own findings in next door Wisconsin. The survey here (9/8-13; 605 WI likely voters; live interview) gives Mr. Biden a six-point, 52-46% lead, which is consistent with other polling.


Georgia: Atlanta businessman Matt Lieberman, son of former Connecticut Senator and 2000 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joe Lieberman, released his HarrisX poll that was conducted at the end of August (8/20-30; 1,616 GA registered voters). Mr. Lieberman’s point in releasing the findings was to show that he was only three percentage points behind Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed opponent Rev. Raphael Warnock, 16-13%, in the jungle primary survey. The data also showed, however, that neither would qualify for the January 5th runoff election as Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) would be the two who advance at 26 and 21%, respectively.

Kentucky: Quinnipiac University also sampled the Kentucky electorate (9/10-14; 1,164 KY likely voters; live interview administered by the RDD firm) and sees a much different result than from their Maine data. In the Bluegrass State race, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) leads retired Marine Corps helicopter pilot Amy McGrath (D), 53-41%, despite the latter raising almost $50 million for the race to date.

Maine: The aforementioned Quinnipiac University survey (see Presidential section: Maine, above) also finds Sen. Susan Collins (R) badly trailing state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport). The Q-Poll numbers reveal a 54-42% margin in Ms. Gideon’s favor, far beyond what has been recently published. As recently as the beginning of September in a Fabrizio Ward/Hart Research survey for AARP (8/30-9/5; 800 ME likely voters) the Gideon margin was only one point over Sen. Collins. In between the AARP poll and Quinnipiac, the Citizen Data organization (9/4-7; 600 ME likely voters) found the spread to be eight points, 49-41%.

Minnesota: While several surveys had indicated that former US Rep. Jason Lewis (R) was moving to within the polling margin of error opposite Sen. Tina Smith (D), the latest New York Times/Siena College survey (9/8-10; 814 MN likely voters; live interview) finds a similar Senate partisan division as they did for the Minnesota presidential race. According to NYT/SC, Sen. Smith expands to a 49-40% margin.

The latest survey comes from CBS News/YouGov (9/9-11; 1,100 MN registered voters; online; weighted) and they find Sen. Smith’s lead at 47-40%. Her average September advantage is 7.4%, with a median of eight percentage points through the five surveys.

South Carolina: Responding to several September polls that find the race between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) and former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison falling within the polling margin of error, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced yesterday that they will invest “seven figures” into the state to help their party nominee. According to the Daily Kos Elections website, only one other outside group has entered this race, the Strength in Security PAC who reserved $1.6 million in television time months ago in order to support Sen. Graham.

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