These swing state polls suggest that Biden is in an improved position in the swing states than he was before the coronavirus pandemic took hold. They echo presidential approval rating polls, which show that Trump lost the ground he initially picked up as the crisis has gone on. As I noted last week, Trump had the shortest rally around the flag event in modern presidential history.

In this way, 2020 is looking a lot like the 2016 election.

Trump likely would have lost the 2016 election had the news focus been on him only. A study of news coverage of that election found that Trump’s poll numbers were negatively correlated with how much news he received. Fortunately for him, the final days of the campaign were spent discussing the former director of Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey’s letter. A higher share of Hillary Clinton’s coverage in that final week was spent on her alleged scandals than at any other point in the late summer or fall.