As it happenedended1604102210

2020 polls: Shock poll puts Trump ahead in Pennsylvania and Michigan - prompting expert row

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Biden V Trump: US election opinion polls

Positive polls placing Donald Trump ahead in Pennsylvania and Michigan has led to a fight over prediction accuracy among establishment and upstart pollsters.

An exclusive poll for The Independent, meanwhile, found the majority of Americans believe Trump has harmed the standing of the US in the world.

In Texas, Trump says he is “way ahead in Texas” despite opinion polling showing a statistical toss-up in the Lone Star State. Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris is visiting the state on Friday as Democrats increasingly believe they can cause an upset.

It comes as the state’s 2020 voter turnout surpassed its 2016 total, four days ahead of Election Day, in a milestone that is expected to fuel Republican concerns about the party’s election chances. 

Nationally, more than 85 million ballots have been cast, more than 60 per cent of the total vote in 2016.

Mr Biden himself is meanwhile heading to Iowa, with Mr Trump returning to Wisconsin and Michigan in a bid to shore up support in the Midwest where he appears to be haemorrhaging support in response to his blundering response to the coronavirus pandemic

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Positive Trump polls leave experts debating accuracy of election outcome predictions

The Trafalgar Group, the only independent group to predict Trump’s 2016 election, just dropped positive polling for the president in Pennsylvania and Michigan.  

It put Trump ahead in Pennsylvania at 48.4 per cent to 47.6 per cent and in Michigan 49.1 per cent to 46.6 per cent, setting off a wave of discussion between establishment pollsters.

Trafalgar’s Robert Cahaly said the hidden Trump vote wasn’t being counted in the polls showing Joe Biden well ahead across the country, according to The Hill.

“There are more [shy Trump voters] than last time and it’s not even a contest,” Cahaly said.

But a number of the established pollsters like FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver and Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman are questioning the predictions.

Silver said t's not a good sign that I always know what a Trafalgar Group poll is going to say without having to open the link, prompting Cahaly to respond “that big old @NateSilver538 is so threatened by little old @trafalgar_group”.

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How high turnout could give Biden the ultimate election gift: Texas

The GOP in Texas, led by Governor Greg Abbott, has done all it could to depress turnout, writes Michael Salfino.

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7 key races that will decide control of the Senate

The battle for the Senate majority is on.

The outcome of Tuesday’s races will determine if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remains the gatekeeper of the federal judiciary or if Democrats rip away the keys.

To do that, Democrats must gain a net pickup of four seats, or three seats plus the presidency.

The Independent’s Griffin Connolly breaks down what Democrats must do to wrest back control.

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Early US vote surpasses 85 million, Texas exceeds 2016 turnout

With four days remaining in the US presidential campaign, more than 85 million Americans have cast ballots, including 9 million in Texas, where the secretary of state’s office on Friday said early voting had eclipsed total turnout from 2016.

Early voting has been setting records across the United States, with nationwide turnout passing 60% of the 2016 total, according to the US Elections Project at the University of Florida. But Texas is just the second state, after Hawaii, to break the full-year record before Tuesday’s Election Day.

The unprecedented level of early voting reflects both intense interest in the contest between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, as well as a desire on the part of many voters to avoid exposure to the coronavirus in crowds on Tuesday.

More than 20 million Americans who had voted early as of Friday did not vote in the 2016 election, according to TargetSmart, a Democratic analytics firm.

Friday is the final day of early voting in several states across the country, including Georgia and Arizona.

Texas, the nation’s second most populous state, hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1976, but opinion polls show Joe Biden is leading among the voters who have helped set the unprecedented early vote levels. Polls also show Biden effectively tied with Trump in Texas, whose 38 Electoral College votes make it a prize for either candidate seeking the 270 minimum votes needed to win.

Harris County, the state’s biggest, which includes Houston and has become a Democratic stronghold in recent years, opened eight 24-hour voting locations on Thursday, helping boost the turnout numbers to their record level on Friday.

The Trump campaign has cited its own internal analysis that it said showed the president is ahead by hundreds of thousands of votes among early ballots. Trump won Texas by a 9-percentage-point margin in 2016, when total turnout reached 8,969,226, according to the secretary of state.

Biden’s running mate, US Senator Kamala Harris of California, is scheduled to visit Texas on Friday. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $15 million in the state and Ohio in a last-minute bid to flip both Republican-leaning states.

- Reuters 

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