A new Hill/Harris poll finds Biden opening up a double-digit lead in Michigan, which Trump won narrowly in 2016. The race is closer in Pennsylvania, where Biden has a 5-point advantage among likely voters. The perennial swing state of Florida, a must-win for Trump, is a pure toss-up heading into the home stretch.
Trump is dragged down by his handling of the coronavirus, which is the top issue on the minds of voters in all three battleground states. The economy remains the president’s best issue, although a majority of voters in these states believe the economy is headed in the wrong direction.
Trump’s backers are passionate — a strong majority are casting ballots in favor of him, while many Biden voters say they’re casting ballots against Trump.
But Biden is running strong among some of the key demographic groups that powered the president’s 2016 campaign, including seniors, independents and suburban voters.
Biden is also doing better than expected on issues that Trump has sought to make his own, such as policing, law and order and China.
“Trump has pulled even in Florida and that indicates some momentum and the capability to win against long odds here,” said Hill/Harris pollster Mark Penn. “But his prior stronghold in the Midwest is where he is in trouble. In those states, he has lost some of his critical constituencies, especially seniors, and the chief reason for that I believe is that he is underwater in the way he handled the virus and that is the dominant issue placing him behind.”
Here is the breakdown in all three states:
Biden takes 51 percent support in the Keystone State, compared to 46 percent for Trump. Three percent are undecided.
Biden has an 8-point advantage among independents and he leads by 5 points among suburban voters. Trump has a 12-point lead among rural voters in Pennsylvania and he leads by 6 points among whites. There is a gender gap, with Trump ahead by 3 points among men and Biden leading by 9 points among women.
More than three-quarters of Trump’s supporters are casting ballots in favor of him, while only 58 percent of Biden’s supporters say the same about their candidate. Forty-two percent of Biden’s backers say they’re voting against Trump.
Trump’s job approval rating in Pennsylvania is at 47 positive and 53 negative. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s job approval rating is at 59 percent positive and 41 percent negative.
Fifty-four percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing on the economy, but 58 percent disapprove of his handling of the coronavirus, which is by far the top issue among voters in the state. Fifty-five percent say Biden is better equipped to handle the pandemic.
Trump leads Biden on who would do better with the economy, 53 to 47. Sixty percent of voters say Biden would do better on race and policing, and a slim majority say he’d do better dealing with China.
Trump’s favorability rating is underwater by 8 points, while Biden is positive by 2 points. Fifty-eight percent of all voters dislike Trump personally, compared to only 35 percent who dislike Biden.
Nearly two-thirds of all voters say the country is on the wrong track, and 54 percent say the economy is on the wrong track.
“Joe Biden, while not well liked, was in part picked by Democrats precisely because he plays better with older and working class voters than Hillary Clinton and that’s exactly what we are seeing in these polls,” said Penn. “Pennsylvania is now the must win battleground state for Trump, with the rest of the Midwest outside of Ohio and Iowa looking quite tough absent a Trump surge in the end.”
Trump and Biden are tied at 48 percent in Florida, with 4 percent undecided.
Eighty-one percent of Trump’s supporters say they’re casting ballots in favor of him. Fifty-eight percent of Biden’s supporters are voting in favor of him, while 42 percent say their votes are against Trump.
Trump has a 5-point lead among voters over the age of 65, a demographic he carried by about 17 points in Florida in 2016. Biden has a nearly 20-point lead among Hispanics, while the candidates are effectively tied among independents and suburban voters.
Voters prefer Trump 55-45 on the economy. They prefer Biden by about the same margin on the coronavirus, which is the top issue for voters in Florida by 12 points over the economy.
Trump stands at 49 percent job approval, with 51 percent disapproving. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis posts a positive 52-48 split.
Fifty-seven percent of voters say the country is on the wrong track, and 53 percent say the economy is headed in the wrong direction.
Biden holds a 54 to 43 advantage over Trump in Michigan, which the president carried by fewer than 10,000 votes in 2016.
Nearly half of all of Biden’s backers characterize their support for him as an anti-Trump vote, rather than a pro-Biden vote.
Fifty-five percent of voters disapprove of the job Trump is doing. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) job approval rating is at 60 percent.
Trump maintains a narrow edge over Biden on the economy, 52 to 48. But Biden leads by double-digits on the coronavirus, bringing the country together and race and policing.
Sixty percent of voters say they dislike Trump personally. Two-thirds say the country is on the wrong track, and 57 percent say the economy is headed the wrong way.
In the Senate race, Republican John James is running better than Trump but trails Sen. Gary Peters (D), who has a 50 to 43 advantage.
The Hill/Harris battleground polls were conducted online among likely voters by Harris X within Florida (965 likely voters), Michigan (1,289 likely voters), and Pennsylvania (992 likely voters) from Oct. 12 to 15.
Results were weighted among registered voters for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, income, education, political party and political ideology where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population and then filtered by likely voters.