With the 2020 presidential election just months away, it’s time to start focusing on some key swing states. While there are many swing states in play this November, one of the most interesting is Pennsylvania. In 2016, they voted for Donald Trump by less than 1%, despite voting for Barack Obama in the past two elections.
When looking at Pennsylvania, it is important to glance at its voting history. Between 1992 and 2012, there was not a single general election won by a Republican candidate. Then, in 2016, it flipped from blue to red and voted for Trump, after many polls put the state in Hillary Clinton's column. While the polls were within the margin of error, it makes you second guess the current polls with Biden leading Trump. As of writing, Joe Biden is beating Donald Trump by 6.4%, well above the margin of error, this may signal a loss for Trump but the odds are not too far against the president.
While the polls may be in Biden’s favor, he is trending down. Joe Biden held a commanding lead of 8.5% back in July, meaning he has dropped over two points in a matter of weeks. With Biden slowly losing ground, President Trump is stepping up by pouring millions of dollars into the state, with help from super PACs like America First Action. While this spending has helped him in the polls, many Independents and Democrats in the state are still attacking him for his handling of COVID-19and the high level of unemployment throughout the state. Luckily for Trump, his fundraising in the state hasn’t slowed down, he may have fewer donors but they are pouring massive amounts of cash into the hands of the Trump campaign. These signs may be good for President Trump, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is still very far behind in the polls.
On the other hand, let us take a look at Joe Biden, as he also has advantages in the state. To start off, Biden was born in Scranton, meaning he already has slightly more support than a generic candidate, as many candidates perform better in their home and birth states. Although, that factor alone is not enough to help Joe Biden’s odds. He also has large leads in many polls, from anywhere between 2% and 9% of a lead against the incumbent. These are not odds you can brush off; in fact, 9% is a larger lead than Hillary Clinton had in almost all polls conducted in 2016. But let’s look back at their electoral history, as stated before, Obama won both his elections in Pennsylvania. This is likely a benefit for Biden, as it shows that the citizens of Pennsylvania wanted an Obama-Biden administration. Which means the voters in the state will likely want another administration with Biden in charge.
That being said, Pennsylvania may end up going to either major candidate this November. With possibilities for Donald Trump or Joe Biden to win, we cannot make a strong prediction for this election. But, if the election were to be held today, I think we can all agree that Joe Biden would most likely win the race in Pennsylvania.