Graphics: Biden wins snap debate polls, Trump closes in battlegrounds
Updated 20:00, 08-Nov-2020
John Goodrich

Donald Trump has hit the trail hard in the past week, visiting a slew of swing states – and traveling to California to raise money – while Joe Biden made limited campaign appearances and spent several days at home in Delaware preparing for Thursday's presidential debate. 

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The debate itself is likely to have little impact on the race, with snap surveys suggesting an improved performance from the Republican but a clear victory for his Democratic challenger, yet it will be several days before the results of high-quality post-debate polls are released. 

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.

Election day in the United States is a little over two weeks away and over 48.5 million Americans, more than 35 percent of the total turnout in 2016, have already voted. Has the trajectory of the campaign changed over the last week?

The national picture

Biden has held a clear lead over Trump in the national polls for several months and the 77-year-old marginally extended that advantage over the past seven days, according to CGTN's analysis of publicly available opinion polls.

With 11 days to go until November 3, the Democrat averages 50.1 percent nationally, up 0.1 percentage points from a week earlier, with the 74-year-old president unmoved on 41.4 percent.

CGTN's X Factors in the U.S. Election

CGTN's X Factors in the U.S. Election

The 8.7-point lead is slightly narrower than individual quality polls released over the past week, with Reuters and YouGov putting Biden up by 9 points and Quinnipiac by 10. Two polls in recent days have suggested a significantly tighter national race however, including a Rasmussen survey that put Trump just three points behind.

Snap polls after Thursday night's debate suggest the final big TV event of the campaign is unlikely to move the dial significantly, with surveys by CNN, Data for Progress and YouGov all indicating double-digit victories for the former vice president.

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In the generic ballot, a measure of which party voters intend to back in congressional elections in November, Democrats are leading the Republicans by 6.6 points in the RealClearPolitics average, down from 7 a week earlier. 

While the Democrats appear likely to retain control of the House of Representatives, the battle for an all-important majority in the Senate remains tight.

The states that matter

Biden is heavily favored to win the popular vote, just as Hillary Clinton did in 2016, given his polling lead nationally, but it's the individual states that matter in the Electoral College system.

A CGTN analysis of state polling indicates the Democrat has an advantage over Trump in many of the battlegrounds, though the margins are tightening as election day approaches and many of the polling averages are within the margin of error.


The two states most likely to be tipping points – states that could push either candidate to the 270-vote mark needed to win the Electoral College – are Florida and Pennsylvania, and both are likely to be the focus of the Biden and Trump campaigns over the closing days of the campaign.

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In Pennsylvania, where former President Barack Obama campaigned on behalf of Biden this week, Trump is trailing by 6.3 points according to a CGTN average of state polls, narrowing the gap from 6.4 points seven days ago.

Obama will make his second major campaign speech on Saturday in Florida, where Trump is due to make appearances on Friday. Biden is up 3.2 percent in the Sunshine State, which has 29 electoral votes, extending his lead by 0.2 points over the past seven days.

CGTN's X Factors in the U.S. Election

CGTN's X Factors in the U.S. Election

In the other competitive states, Trump has closed in on Biden's leads in North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia, while the Democrat extended his advantages in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nevada. 

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 355 Electoral College votes to Trump's 183, unchanged since last week.

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.

The latest data from the FEC shows the Trump campaign has raised $552.4 million directly, against $809.7 million for the Biden campaign. 

CGTN's X Factors in the U.S. Election

CGTN's X Factors in the U.S. Election

Over $162 million raised by the two campaigns has come from donors in California, a state Trump has no chance of winning but trekked to on Sunday – and raised $10 million at a private event hosted by 28-year-old tech mogul Palmer Luckey.

Hollywood also got in on the act this week, with "Avengers" stars like Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, Chris Evans, Don Cheadle and Robert Downey Jr. uniting to raise money for Biden on Tuesday.

CGTN's X Factors in the U.S. Election

CGTN's X Factors in the U.S. Election

Of the total money donated to Trump, 61 percent has come from donations under $200, compared to 54.6 percent for Biden.

New Federal Elections Commission filings by the Trump campaign revealed the Republican had only $63 million cash on hand entering October, despite having raised around $1.5 billion – with affiliates – since the start of 2019.

Biden reported having $177.3 million in cash on hand for the dash to election day, giving the Democrat a significant financial advantage in the closing days of the campaign.