Graphics: After rancorous week, Biden's lead over Trump remains steady
Updated 20:04, 08-Nov-2020
John Goodrich

The race for the White House has featured a chaotic first debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden and the release of new details about the president's taxes over the past seven days, as well as the nomination of conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court and the news that the first couple may quarantine after senior adviser Hope Hicks tested positive for COVID-19.

2020 in 120 seconds: Tax bombshell and a 6-3 majority

Click for interactive page: X Factors in the U.S. Election

Election day in the United States is one month away, and more than one million Americans have already voted. Has the trajectory of campaign changed over the last week?


CGTN's interactive page offers in-depth analysis of the 2020 election, with exclusive data covering national and state-by-state polling, online sentiment and fundraising. Each week we crunch the numbers in search of the trends that matter in the battle for the presidency.

The national picture

National voting intentions have been stable for months, varying by fractions of a percentage point from week to week. Since last Friday Biden's lead is up 0.1 points, from a 7.5- to a 7.6-point margin according to CGTN analysis of publicly-available opinion polls.

X Factors in the U.S. Election

X Factors in the U.S. Election

Trump has trailed the Democrat in every polling average since the first head-to-head poll was conducted in early 2017. 

The latest CGTN polling average doesn't include surveys completed since Tuesday night's debate, because only polls partially conducted after the debate from CNBC/Change Research, which put Biden up a huge 13 points, and a Reuters/Ipsos survey giving the Democrat a 50-41 advantage, have been released. 

The most recent polls – including a Biden +8 from YouGov – included in the average were taken after the New York Times' revelations about Trump's taxes

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'Hot mess': 'Unpresidential' debate gets bad reviews

Snap polls after the debate gave Biden a 60-28 (CNN) win, a 53-29 (CNBC) success and a 48-41 (CBS) victory, however, indicating that Trump may have missed one his best chances to reshape the race with time running out.

In the generic ballot, a measure of which party voters intend to back in congressional elections in November, Democrats are leading the Republicans by 6.2 points in the RealClearPolitics average. While the Democrats appear likely to retain control of the House of Representatives, the battle for an all-important majority in the Senate is neck and neck.

Click here for the latest national polls.

The states that matter

While the national picture looks fairly rosy for Biden – and a popular vote win of over seven points would almost guarantee victory in the Electoral College – on a state-by-state level Trump remains competitive in several battlegrounds.

All major polling models give Biden a significantly higher chance of winning the popular vote than winning the Electoral College, where the incumbent has an in-built advantage because several swing states are more Republican-leaning than the country. It remains possible that, as in 2016, Trump could lose the popular vote by a significant margin but still win the presidency.

X Factors in the U.S. Election

X Factors in the U.S. Election

Nevertheless, the current state of play in the swing states suggests Biden is in a strong position.

In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, the Blue Wall states narrowly won by Trump in 2016, the Democrat retains leads of 6.4, 5.3 and 6.9 points respectively according to CGTN analysis, with the former vice president marginally widening his advantage over the past seven days. 

Biden also leads narrowly in the other principal swing states – Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and Minnesota – and is slightly ahead in the traditionally-Republican Georgia.

Polls only provide a snapshot in time and have a margin of error, but the state-by-state surveys suggest if the election were held today Biden could be on course to win 368 Electoral College votes to Trump's 170, with Texas flipping back into the Republican's column over the past week.

Click here for the latest state polls.

Twitter and the debate

CGTN is using exclusive AI technology to weigh sentiment towards tweets related to the election, updating every 24 hours to reflect whether comments about Trump and Biden are positive, negative or neutral, and identifying three standout tweets from the period.

In the hours after Tuesday's debate, Biden was mentioned positively in 10.3 percent of election–related tweets after a steady average of around 6 percent on the preceding days. Only 0.9 percent of tweets mentioning him were negative.

X Factors in the U.S. Election

X Factors in the U.S. Election

Negativity towards Trump surged around the debate, however, with 19 percent of all tweets mentioning him and concerning the election being negative and 5.9 percent positive.

Sentiment towards Trump on Twitter was net negative on all of the past seven days, and strength of feeling both for and against the president was much higher than for Biden, who had a net positive each day but aroused considerably less interest in the online conversation than the Republican.

Click here for more details on Twitter sentiment.

Money talks                      

CGTN is also filtering data released by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to document campaign donations and spending, both nationally and state by state. It does not take into account cash raised on behalf of the candidates by outside groups or the respective parties.

In a single hour during Tuesday's debate – between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. – the Biden campaign raised 3.8 million U.S. dollars through Democratic fundraising site ActBlue. From 9 p.m. to midnight it brought in nearly 10 million dollars, and from the start of the debate to 9:30 a.m. the next morning 25 million dollars had been processed by the site.

X Factors in the U.S. Election

X Factors in the U.S. Election

Neither campaign has released its September fundraising totals. The latest data from the FEC shows the Trump campaign has raised 471.3 million dollars directly, against 531 million dollars for the Biden campaign. Over 110 million dollars raised by the two campaigns has come from donors in California.

Of the money donated to Trump, 62.8 percent came from donations of less than 200 dollars while 54.3 percent of Biden's came from donations under 200 dollars.

Click here for more details on 2020 fundraising.

Video by Zhou Jinxi and Wang Zengzheng