A new CNN poll shows that in 15 "battleground" states, Donald Trump appears to be in trouble against Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden — as well as against recent entry Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul who served as mayor of Trump's native New York City for 12 years, from 2002 to the end of 2013. In the poll of those key states, which are generally considered winnable by a candidate of either party, both Biden and Bloomberg lead Trump by two points each.
For Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the CNN poll is the first in which he has topped Biden in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, leading the field by three points. But in the CNN battleground states polling, Sanders fares less well in a head-to-head matchup against Trump, coming in tied at 49 percent each. Biden and Bloomberg also poll at 49 percent in the battleground states, but Trump takes only 47 percent against either of the two.
The poll also rated the Democratic candidates against Trump in one-on-one matchups on a nationwide basis. In the national matchups, both Biden and Bloomberg easily defeat Trump by nine points each. Sanders beats Trump by seven points in the head-to-head poll. Three other top Democrats -- Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar -- also get the better of Trump nationwide, by five, four, and three points respectively.
Biden has consistently topped Trump in head-to-head polling, in most polls scoring at least seven points better than the incumbent Republican.
No Democratic candidate other than Biden and Bloomberg finished ahead of Trump in the 15-state battleground poll, however, according to the CNN results.
Those battleground states polled were: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Of those states, Trump in 2016 won all except Virginia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Minnesota, Colorado, and New Mexico, while Maine split its electoral votes between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. With 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House, Clinton came up 38 votes short.
That means a 2020 Democrat would need to "flip" at least two of the battleground states won by Trump four years earlier. For example, if a Democrat wins Pennsylvania (20 votes) and Ohio (18) without losing any of the other states won by Clinton, that candidate would win 270 electoral votes — and the presidency.
In the latest forecast of the Democratic primary race by the political data site FiveThirtyEight, Biden remains well ahead based on overall polling averages. According to FiveThirtyEight, Biden currently holds a 43 percent chance of winning nomination, compared to just 20 percent for Sanders, and 14 percent for Warren.
In the Iowa caucus, which kicks off the official 2020 primary season on Monday, February 3, Biden is also the favorite with a 36 percent chance of winning the most delegates in the caucus voting. Sanders places second with a 22 percent chance of topping the Iowa field, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast.