The Democratic primary for the upcoming US presidential election has narrowed down to a two-horse race between former Vice-President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Following a wave of primary results on ‘Super Tuesday’, Biden is the favourite to win the nomination – holding 664 delegates to Sanders’ 573.
But does either candidate stand a chance of beating the incumbent Republican president Donald Trump come November?
Although a lot could change in the next seven months, here is a look at where the polls currently stand for both contenders for the Democratic nomination.
Regardless of who goes up against Trump, there are a certain number of states that are either safe Democrat or safe Republican.
Based on previous elections, there are 185 Electoral College votes that the Democrats can rely on winning, with 114 for the Republicans.
Other states can be classed as likely states (within five and ten percent), lean states (within one to five percent), tilt (within one percent) or toss-up (tie between both parties).
The frontrunner and former Vice-President, at this early stage in the election campaign, appears to have the advantage over Trump – with an average national polling lead of 5.5 percent.
Using polling averages (where possible) from RealClearPolitics, it appears Biden has a clear path to the presidency – with Biden ahead in key battleground states, including Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan and New Hampshire.
The latest polls also show Biden in a close race with Trump in Arizona, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Should this result be replicated in the election in November, Biden would win 331 Electoral College votes, one short of Barack Obama in the 2012 election.
However, it is worth noting that many of the states that Biden would need to win the presidency are currently marked as lean Democrat, which means that the course of an election campaign could see these shift in Trump’s favour.
The underdog in the race for the nomination, Sanders also maintains a lead in national polling over Trump, although lower than Biden’s lead at 4.7 percent.
Whilst Sanders also has a path to the presidency, it is on shakier ground than Biden. Sanders is ahead in states like Pennsylvania, Nevada and Virginia, as well as performs better than Biden in Wisconsin. However, some of these leads are close, could be within the margin of error and are vulnerable for Sanders during an election campaign.
Moreover, if Trump were to win the toss-up state of Ohio, as well as North Carolina and Florida, the race would be a dead heat with 269 electoral votes each.
If this result was replicated in November, Sanders would accrue a similar number of Electoral College votes to that of Donald Trump in his 2016 victory.
With the election still many months away, this picture could change dramatically in either direction, so only time will tell who has the advantage in the race to the White House.
All information was correct at the time of publication – March 7, 2020