Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Polling: Trump And Biden In Tight Race For Swing States

There have been a lot of headlines regarding Joe Biden’s lead over President Trump in national polling. As we learned in 2016, however, national polling is not the whole story. Inquiring minds want to know how the two candidates stack up in the battleground states. A new poll out from Change Research/CNBC sheds some light on that question with a look at several swing states.
The poll looked at six states, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The results across the six states were a statistical tie with President Trump leading 48-47 percent.
The headline number is not particularly useful so let’s take a deeper dive into state-level polling by looking at the Real Clear Politics averages:
  • Arizona – Biden leads by an average of four points in this state that has trended blue in recent years.
  • Florida – The polling average shows a dead heat.
  • Michigan – Biden leads in every poll by an average of more than four points.
  • North Carolina – Trump edges out Biden by an average of just over one point.
  • Pennsylvania – Biden leads in almost every poll (except for two ties) and holds an average lead of just under four points.
  • Wisconsin – Biden leads in almost all polls with an average lead of about three points.
If we transfer these results over the Electoral map, Joe Biden would win with an Electoral score of 289-249 if the election were held today, even assuming that Trump holds Florida and all other state results from 2016 remain the same. Biden only needs to flip Michigan and Pennsylvania, along with either Arizona or Wisconsin to win the presidency.
The Change Research/CNBC poll also asked swing state voters a number of separate questions that provide insight into current events. Unfortunately, for President Trump and the Republicans, the news here is not good. The survey found that 70 percent say the economy is poor or not good and 68 percent have a negative view of the job market. Fifty-two percent say that someone in their household has lost wages due to the pandemic while 38 percent say someone in the household has lost a job or been laid off. Less than half of those who have lost jobs have successfully filed for unemployment.
While the economic numbers are to be expected, the ratings on Trump’s Coronavirus policy are more problematic. By more than two to one (72-28 percent), voters are more concerned about health and safety than finances. Three-quarters support social distancing and 71 percent have serious concerns about those who don’t abide by the mitigation strategies. Other heavy majorities are concerned about reopening the economy too soon (62 percent) and the lack of widespread testing (74 percent).
Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic crisis is viewed negatively by 52-48 percent. The president is less trusted on the issue than state and local governments. The only governor who fared worse on this question than the president was Florida’s Ron DeSantis.
Finally, swing-state voters panned Trump’s decision to print his name on relief checks by a 52-39 percent margin. The president’s decision to suspend funding for the World Health Organization won voter approval by a single point in a 50-49 result.
With six months to go before the election, polling is not written in stone. However, the president is currently trailing in the Electoral College and faces a difficult task in overtaking the presumptive Democratic nominee. The president’s comeback is made all the more difficult by disapproval of his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic and the economic problems that have developed as a result.
One of the most interesting aspects of the polling is the revelation that, even though swing state voters are hurting financially, they are more concerned about the virus. The polling results indicate the reopen protests being staged by Trump supporters and the rush by the president and Republican governors to end shelter-in-place restrictions are out of step with public opinion. These moves may end up hurting Republican chances more than they help.

Originally published on The Resurgent

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