Joe Biden holds a narrow lead over Donald Trump in six vital states, according to a poll released on Monday by CNBC/Change Research.
In Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – all of which Trump won in 2016 – Biden has the edge.
However, it shows the race as still being hotly contested, with the result hanging in the balance.
Wisconsin is the safest of the six, with Biden leading by 53 per cent and Trump claiming 45 per cent of support.
North Carolina is the narrowest of the six, with Biden generating a wafer-thin 49 per cent of support, and 47 per cent backing Trump.
Across all six the average is 50 per cent for Biden, and 46 per cent for Trump.
Voters are pictured standing in line to cast their votes in North Carolina on October 15
In Florida, 51 per cent of respondents said they were voting for Biden, versus 48 per cent for Trump; in Arizona, 50 per cent backed Biden, and 47 per cent Trump.
In Michigan, Biden was winning the support of 51 per cent of voters, while Trump had 44 per cent.
And in Pennsylvania, where a fight over the counting of ballots went all the way to the Supreme Court, Biden won 50 per cent, versus 46 per cent for Trump.
The swing-state poll surveyed 3,328 people from Thursday to Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.
The survey showed a remarkable level of early voting.
Of those questioned, 68 per cent said they had already cast their ballot, either by mail or from voting early.
In Arizona, 85 per cent of respondents said they already voted, while 82 per cent in Florida and 81 per cent in North Carolina said the same.
Sixty three per cent of Wisconsin respondents and 57 per cent of Michigan voters said they had cast ballots.
Residents of Pembroke, North Carolina, cast their votes on Saturday
Poll workers are pictured handing out ballots in Robeson County, North Carolina
The lowest level of early voting was in Pennsylvania, where only 40 per cent said they had voted.
The state is warning that their results may not be known for several days, and on Monday the governor, Tom Wolf, a Democrat, told voters in his state to have patience.
‘These are unprecedented times. Because of the coronavirus, there were millions of votes cast by mail so it may take longer than usual to count every vote,’ he says in a new ad for the nonpartisan group, The Voter Project.
‘The folks in our election offices – your neighbors, family and friends are working hard ensuring every single vote is counted.’
Meanwhile, the battleground-state poll shows Democrats leading close races for three pivotal Senate seats.
Republicans currently have a 53-47 majority, which is under threat, with strong challenges being posed in Arizona, Michigan and North Carolina.
In Arizona, Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of former congresswoman Gabriella Giffords, shot in the head at a rally, leads Republican Senator Martha McSally by a 51 per cent to 47 per cent margin.
Voters wait in line Sunday during the last day of in person early voting in Miramar, Florida
Michigan’s Democratic Senator Gary Peters holds a 51 per cent to 46 per cent edge over John James, a Republican army veteran and businessman.
And in North Carolina, Democratic former state Senator Cal Cunningham leads Republican Senator Thom Tillis by a 50 per cent to 46 per cent margin.
Cunningham’s campaign was marked by revelations of him cheating on his wife with a married woman in California, and yet his lead over Tillis – who contracted COVID-19 after the White House ‘super spreader’ event in the Rose Garden – has remained consistent.
Coronavirus has strongly influenced the thinking in the six swing states.
Fifty four per cent of respondents in the states disapproved of his handling of the pandemic, with 46 per cent approving.
Almost the same amount – 53 per cent – said they prefer Biden and the Democrats to handle coronavirus, versus 47 per cent who chose Trump and Republicans.
Trump, 74, performed better on the economy, with 51 per cent of the swing state voters approving his handling of the nation’s finances.
Asked to name their three top issues, 48 per cent chose the economy, jobs and cost of living; 41 per cent said COVID-19; and 34 per cent said political corruption.