Battlegrounds for 2020 US elections: Will these states stay loyal to Trump?

Ohio is one of the battleground states which are key to winning the presidency. ST PHOTO: NIRMAL GHOSH

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden leads nationwide polls by a wide margin but in the battleground states, which are key to winning the presidency, the gap with United States President Donald Trump is far narrower.

The Straits Times US Bureau reports from the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin, which were in Mr Trump's column in 2016.

Voters here are focused on the coronavirus, the economy and race relations, the key issues in this election. Will they stay loyal to Mr Trump?

No Republican has won White House without Ohio

Trump signs are everywhere. A big flag with a dramatic depiction of President Donald Trump muscled up like Rambo, jaw set, clad in a black singlet, toting a grenade launcher, hangs from the window of a ramshackle single-storey house.

Grafton village is a smattering of cheap prefab houses and second-hand and broken cars, roughly an hour from the corniced towers of downtown Cleveland. It has a poverty rate of around 10 per cent - and that is among its majority (65.67 per cent) white population. There is a local penitentiary which pops up when you search for Grafton on Google Maps.

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John Clouse, 77, is a retired school district superindendent who lives in Florida. He tells ST US Bureau Chief Nirmal Ghosh what he's looking for in a president.

This is part of Mr Trump's bedrock solid base, in a bellwether state without which no Republican candidate has ever won the White House.


Hint of tide turning against Trump in Florida

What United States President Donald Trump's critics find coarse and vulgar, 75-year-old Doug Kelly, with a Trump cap on his head, finds gratifying.

"What appeals to me?" mused Mr Kelly as he sat at the wheel of his golf cart, his wife Marion next to him. "The economy. His brash way that he talks, he's not a... politician," he said of Mr Trump. "I think the country's gonna move ahead real good, and I don't wanna live in a socialist country."

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A sign of the needle moving ever so slightly against Mr Trump has been seen in the Sunshine State, the third most populous and eighth most diverse in the Union

"The stock market is going up - I like that," Mr Kelly added.


Signs of support for Trump cooling in Wisconsin as voters grow weary

Shopkeepers in Waukesha watching the news saw images of civil unrest on their screens during protests in the nearby city of Milwaukee.

So when a Black Lives Matter march took place in their town, they slept in their stores, guns at hand, ready to defend their property.

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Will 2020 see a repeat of the 2016 result for Donald Trump in Florida?

The march turned out to be completely peaceful, said home healthcare nursing assistant Laura Burbie, 55, who lives a stone's throw from downtown Waukesha.


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