Where Biden and Trump stand in the polls 6 days out from the election

  • Political polls have been under increased scrutiny since Donald Trump's surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
  • The polls in 2020 have largely been consistent, with Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, maintaining a steady lead over Trump.
  • One of the notable trends emerging in the homestretch is Biden pulling away in Wisconsin, a key state Trump picked up in 2016.
  • Biden's lead there has grown from low single digits to a 17 percentage point margin in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, which has an A+ rating from FiveThirtyEight.
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With less than a week to go until Election Day, the sheer amount of polling available can be tough to digest all at once. 

We're breaking down what's worth paying attention to in key states and which trends are moving the needle.

The 2016 election led to a lot of scrutiny of polling and to skepticism among the public and politicians because of Donald Trump's surprise victory over Hillary Clinton.

Most of that came down to a mix of a lack of polling in certain states and significant errors in others, such as Michigan.

Another state that surprised political observers in 2016 was Wisconsin, a longtime Democratic stronghold in the upper Midwest.

This time around, Democratic nominee Joe Biden has built up a substantial lead in the Badger State.

Here's what stands out in the polling today: 

  • Biden's lead in Wisconsin was in the low to mid-single digits over the summer, but a new ABC News/Washington Post poll has him up 17 percentage points over Trump.
  • That poll has an A+ rating from FiveThirtyEight, and even with its 3.5 to 4% margin of error, there would have to be something significantly off in the sampling here for Trump to be competitive in Wisconsin.
  • Biden is beating Trump among suburban voters by 16 points in the ABC/WaPo poll.
  • Wisconsin is seeing one of the most severe COVID-19 outbreaks in the country right now, with Biden consistently receiving higher marks than Trump on his ability to handle the pandemic.
  • The same poll also surveyed Michigan, where it found Biden up 51% to Trump's 44%.
  • To have a shot at winning the Electoral College, the Trump campaign would like to secure either Wisconsin or Michigan, though there are paths to the required 270 electoral votes that involve losing both.
  • Biden maintains a 9.2 percentage point lead over Trump nationally, according to FiveThirtyEight's rolling average.

The so-called blue wall of the upper Midwest was a major focus for Democrats during the 2020 primary, but at this point, Wisconsin is looking safer than ever for Biden, and Michigan isn't too far behind.

Biden has traveled to both states recently, but look out for the focus of the campaign shifting to once secure GOP territory in Texas and Georgia, both of which are now considered tossups by the Cook Political Report.

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