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Thursday, June 4, 2020
Fox News Poll Shows Trump Trailing In Swing States
Three new Fox News polls sampled voters in the swing states of Arizona, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The news in all three states was not good for the president. Mr. Trump, who won all three states in 2016, now trails Joe Biden in each case.
In the Arizona poll, the president trails his Democratic challenger by a 42-46 margin. On the issues, the economy was the only area in which Trump scored better than Biden (by 48-41 percent). Shockingly, Biden even edged out Trump on immigration in this border state by one percentage point. Trump’s net approval rating in Arizona was negative-six points.
The poll also showed that Arizona is a likely spot for a Senate pick-up for Democrats. The poll showed Republican incumbent Martha McSally trailing Democrat Mark Kelly by 13 points.
In Ohio, which has seemed increasingly Republican, the Fox poll showed Biden with a two-point lead (45-43 percent). This is well within the 3.5-point margin of error for the poll. In Ohio, Trump’s 50-percent approval rating gave him a net approval of two points.
Moving to Wisconsin, the poll found Trump trailing Biden by nine points (40-49 percent). The president’s net approval in the state was negative-nine points, closely mirroring the difference in the head-to-head matchup.
President Trump’s poor response to the three crises of Coronavirus, the recession, and the race riots seemed to be driving much of the opposition to his re-election. While Trump scored best on the economy in all three states, Biden rated better on race relations and Coronavirus in all three cases. On immigration, the only other issue tested, Biden was preferred in Arizona (which was a statistical tie on the question) and Wisconsin. Ohio voters liked Trump’s approach to immigration.
As I frequently point out, individual polls are a single data point and should be treated with caution. There are also additional swing states to consider. In addition to the three surveyed by Fox News, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania are likely battleground states this year. For a more complete look at polling in all seven swing states, all of which were won by Trump in 2016, here is a rundown based on Real Clear Politics averages:
Arizona: Biden leads by 2.8 points
Florida: Biden leads by 3.4 points
Michigan: Biden leads by 4.2 points
North Carolina: Biden leads by 0.8 points
Ohio: Biden leads by 1.0 point
Pennsylvania: Biden leads by four points [As a caveat, Trump held a four point lead in the only May poll, but Biden has led in every other recent poll.]
Wisconsin: Biden leads by 3.4 percent
Based on these polling averages and assuming that the tossup states of North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania go to Trump, Joe Biden would win the electoral vote by 288-250 if the election were held today.
I frequently hear from Trump supporters who are skeptical of all polls since polling pointed toward a Hillary Clinton victory in 2016. In most cases, the surprise states of 2016 were polling within the margin of error by Election Day, and the final Electoral College result hinged on about 70,000 votes. It is whistling past the graveyard to assume that Donald Trump can repeat that performance this year. If Biden still leads in all swing states in November, Trump will have to defy the odds and run the table to keep his job.
Increasingly, the polling for 2020 is not close. On the contrary, more and more red states seem to be moving towards battleground status. For example, the Real Clear Politics average shows Trump only holding a two-point lead in Texas. Likewise, Arizona used to be reliably Republican.
The polling does not predict with certainty that Trump will lose in November, but it is a warning sign that his re-election campaign is in trouble. To turn the tide, the president must change his image, but he seems incapable of doing so.