New state polls show narrowing leads for Biden in key battlegrounds

New state polls show narrowing leads for Joe Biden in key battlegrounds including a single-point edge in Florida and North Carolina

  • Biden leads Trump 48-47 in Florida in a new Northern Florida University poll
  • Two new polls show a dead heat in Georgia
  • ABC / Washington Post poll has Biden’s lead down to 1 point in North Carolina 

A new batch of polls released Tuesday showed a tightening race in several key battlegrounds – including ‘must-win’ states for President Trump like Ohio and Florida.

The snapshot polls come amid a durable national polling lead for Joe Biden that has also given the Democrat multiple paths to victory in the battleground states, with an edge in ‘blue wall’ battlegrounds in the midwest and several chances to pry away states Trump carried in 2016. 

A University of Northern Florida / Public Opinion Research Lab poll has Biden’s lead over Trump down to 1 percentage point, in a state Trump carried in 2016, with Biden leading 48 to 47 per cent.

A UNF / Public Opinion Research Lab poll has Biden’s lead over Trump down to 1 percentage point, in Florida – a state Trump carried in 2016, with Biden leading 48 to 47 per cent

One reason: the poll made extra efforts to count respondents who said something to indicate their preference – like saying ‘MAGA!’ or ‘I’m voting Republican!’ before hanging up, said pollster Dr. Michael Binder.

‘People say I’m voting for the Republican – click. Or I’m voting for the Democrats, click.’ Bringing these and other voters into the sample shaves more than a percentage point off Biden’s lead in the state, he said.

‘I never thought this was going to be more than a two-point lead in either direction. It’s Florida – they’re always razor thin,’ Binder told

A New York Times / Siena poll has Trump and Biden tied at 45 percent in Georgia – an unexpected battleground this year that Trump also carried. An Emerson automated poll has Trump leading Biden 48 to 47 per cent in Georgia.

Biden holds a wide lead nationally, while holding a narrow edge in multiple swing states

Florida has been the site of intense legal battles over the vote 

Trump has been struggling to nail down a number of states he carried in 2016

Biden is also clinging to a 1 point lead in North Carolina, leading Trump 49 to 48 in a state Trump carried, and has made frequent campaign stops. It’s virtually the same lead that Democrat Cal Cunningham has over GOP Sen. Thom Tillis in the state, 49 to 47, after revelations Cunningham had an affair.

Fifty-one per cent of voters disapprove of how Trump is handling the pandemic, the ABC News / Washington Post poll found. 

Trump’s favorite poll, Rasmussen, has Biden leading him by a single point, 48 to 47,i in Ohio, better than the Real Clear Politics polling average, which has Trump holding a negligible lead. 

The backdrop for the battlegrounds is still a national race where polls show Biden comfortably ahead, including a Times / Siena poll with Biden leading Trump nationally by 50 to 41 per cent.

But those surveys are little comfort to Democrats who watched Trump lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes and still prevail in the Electoral College.

Biden can potentially afford to lose those battlegrounds as long as he maintains leads he has assembled in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, if other states fall as they did in 2016.

Adding to the uncertainty this year is the surge in mail-in and early voting and looming legal battle.

‘If election night is close and it goes to overtime in states, it will all be about the absentees,’ predicted GOP election lawyer Ben Ginsburg on a call organized by the National Task Force on Election Crises.

‘That’s nothing particularly new about this election cycle,’ he said. ‘But of course there are far many more absentee votes this time, so therefore it becomes a much bigger issue.’

‘It really will be a ballot-by-ballot fight that will take quite a period of time,’ said Campaign Legal Center election expert Paul Smith. 

If GOP leaning states return to norm, Pennsylvania will play its predicted critical role. A Reuters / Ipsos survey released Monday had Biden’s lead down to 4 points there, 49 to 45. His average lead there had been as high as 7 points.   

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