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Biden and Trump's potential paths to win the Electoral College

Trump is defending his 2016 wins in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Ohio heading into Election Day.

Updated: November 3, 2020 - 12:08pm

President Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden each have multiple potential paths to win the Electoral College on Tuesday.

Trump defeated 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College 306 to 232. Trump's wins in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Ohio put Trump far over the 270 needed to win the Electoral College.

Most polls show Biden leading Trump in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, but the president has been gaining rapidly in the latter two states.

The candidates are in a dead heat in Florida heading into Election Day, while Trump is leading in Ohio, according a recent poll. A different poll shows Biden leading Trump by one point in Ohio. 

Here are some of the potential scenarios for a Trump win in the Electoral College:

Trump repeats his 306 electoral vote win from 2016 with wins in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.

Trump would win if he lost Wisconsin but held all the other states he won in 2016 and beat Biden.

Trump could lose Michigan and Wisconsin but hold all others from 2016 and win the Electoral College.

Trump would be able to win the Electoral College if he lost Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa but held all of the other states he won in 2016.

If Trump wins the other states he won in 2016 but loses Florida and Michigan, he would lose to Biden, assuming the former vice president is able to win all of the states Clinton won in 2016.

Trump also can't lose Wisconsin and Florida and still win the Electoral College, if Biden wins the states Clinton won in 2016.

Some of the potential scenarios for a Biden win in the Electoral College:

Biden wins Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin plus states that Clinton won in 2016.

Biden wins Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona and Clinton's 2016 states.

Bidens flips Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina and holds Clinton's wins from 2016.

Biden takes Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina plus Clinton's states, which are historically blue states.

Biden would win by flipping Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona along with winning Clinton's states.

Wisconsin and Florida going blue would deliver Biden an Electoral College win.

Biden would win by flipping Michigan and Florida to blue along with winning Clinton's states from 2016.

A Biden victory in Arizona and Florida with Clinton's winnings from 2016 would give Biden the Electoral College.

Winning Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin is another scenario that would put Biden in the White House.

Wins in Ohio, Michigan and Arizona would also deliver a win for Biden in the Electoral College.

A Florida and Pennsylvania win in the Electoral College would make Biden president if he can win all of Clinton's states from 2016.

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