For well over a year this column has argued that President Biden’s reelection challenge is far greater than commonly believed, certainly tougher than Democrats hope. While a Biden popular-vote victory is still quite possible, his challenge of capturing 270 Electoral College votes is substantially more difficult than national polls suggest. That isn't to say that this race is Donald Trump’s to lose or that Biden cannot win reelection, but it’s no slam dunk.
Pollsters have released an enormous amount of polls over the last year, but almost all have been either national surveys or in early primary and caucus states. That is beginning to change. On Sunday, The New York Times and Siena College released a set of polls in the six swing states that Biden carried by the narrowest of margins in 2020. The surveys found the incumbent trailing in five of the six—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania—while leading in Wisconsin by a mere 2 points. An aggregation of the interviews in all six states finds Trump ahead by 4 percentage points, 48 to 44 percent.
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