US2020-Joe Biden is leading in three crucial battle ground states

 Biden is still leading in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan one week before the elections

 According to new polls by the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison,  Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden has extended his leads over President Donald Trump in three key battleground states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Trump’s support had held steady in each state over the past three months, closely mirroring his job approval ratings, which have hovered in the low 40s. The difference in the final days is that a larger share of undecided and potential minor party voters has come to support Biden.

Biden has a massive lead among those who have already voted. Although Trump is favored by those who are yet to vote, the margin is not large enough to compensate for Biden’s advantage in the early vote.

The issue concerns of voters also work in favor of Biden rather than Trump. More likely voters are now identifying the coronavirus outbreak as the most important issue in the country. Despite Trump’s focus on “law and order” in the wake of protests, fewer respondents now see that as the top issue. The nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for an opening on the U.S. Supreme Court has not raised the prominence of the court or abortion much.

These findings are from the fourth and final set of 2020 battleground surveys from the Elections Research Center at UW–Madison. The poll in Wisconsin is conducted in collaboration with the Wisconsin State Journal. Surveys were conducted between Oct. 13 and Oct. 21.

                                                  MI                           PA                                            WI
Other/Not Sure5%3%3%

Biden has substantial leads over Trump among “likely” voters. Likely voters are defined as registered voters who also report that they are “certain” to vote or have already voted. In contrast to prior ERC surveys this year, Biden has crossed the crucial 50% mark in all three states. Compared to the previous survey in September, Biden’s leads have grown from +6 to +10 in Michigan, from +4 to +8 in Pennsylvania, and from +4 to +9 in Wisconsin.

National exit polls in 2016 showed Clinton beating Trump among Black voters 89% to 8% and among Hispanic voters 66% to 28%. The latest ERC survey shows Biden’s support among non-white voters to be less dominant than Clinton’s nationwide showing in 2016. He leads among Black voters 83% to 12%, among Hispanic voters 67% to 26%, and among other non-white groups 57% to 33%.

The 2016 exit polls showed that Trump won only narrowly among white college graduates but by a large margin among white voters without college degrees (66% to 29%). In the current survey the disparity in vote choices between more- and less-educated white voters has dampened somewhat compared to 2016. 

                                                                                          August                                   September                                                      October
Very liberal93%3%95%3%97%2%
Very conservative6%91%3%94%6%92%
High school or less45%51%44%52%44%51%
Some college50%46%49%46%54%43%
College grad or more60%34%58%37%60%36%
Big city82%13%74%20%82%15%
Smaller city60%36%57%39%60%33%
Small town45%50%46%49%47%49%
Rural area36%60%36%61%37%60%

Biden’s advantage among white college grads is a bit smaller than Clinton’s, but he more than compensates by running far better among non-college white voters. These voters are more numerous than college educated white voters in all three states and comprise an important part of the Biden majority.

This is the fourth set of surveys in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin conducted during the 2020 election season by the ERC, in partnership with the Wisconsin State Journal for all polling done in Wisconsin.

Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin all voted for Democratic presidential candidates going back to the 1980s but flipped to the Republicans in 2016 to help President Donald Trump win the Electoral College.

                                                                         Naila Chaudhry


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