Perhaps the most surprising state to go for Donald Trump in 2016 was Pennsylvania, which had voted Democratic in the last six presidential elections. A pair of new polls show it’s on track to flip back to Scranton’s own Joe Biden.
Former Vice President Biden leads by nine points with Pennsylvania’s likely voters and 10 points with registered voters, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. The poll has a +/- 5% margin of error.
Biden’s strength comes from overwhelming support in the Philadelphia area and among women and moderates. In the suburbs of Philadelphia, of which Biden himself is a product, the poll has Biden leading 69%-31%, according to the poll, and in the suburbs as a whole his lead is 54%-45%.
Men are breaking for Trump 53%-46%, but Biden is polling with 61% support among women, illustrating that the gender divide in 2016 has only continued to grow after nearly four years of Trump. While Biden and Trump have predictably consolidated support from liberals and conservatives, respectively, moderates are breaking hard for Biden at 63%-35%, a 28-point lead. Among moderate men, Biden’s lead is seven points; among moderate women, it’s 47 points.
The Post/ABC poll also illustrates a clear divide between those voting early and those planning to vote on election day. While those waiting until election day to vote—nearly two-thirds of respondents—break clearly for Trump, 60%-39%, Biden is polling with a remarkable 87% support among the one-third of respondents who are planning to vote early.
The data also suggests that Trump is going to struggle to make up ground against Biden in Pennsylvania if the state of the country doesn’t radically change within the next month. A clear majority of respondents said they’re “very” or “somewhat” worried about contracting COVID-19 (62%), that the economy isn’t doing well (60%), and that they support the recent protests against police brutality (54%). Trump’s approval rating in Pennsylvania is just 43%, with 55% saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing as president.
A second poll, conducted by the New York Times over the weekend similarly showed Biden with a nine-point lead in Pennsylvania. While 54% of respondents to that poll said Biden was honest and trustworthy, just 37% said the same for the president.
In addition to Pennsylvania, Biden has been polling well in Wisconsin and Michigan, two other Rust Belt states that went for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 but flipped to Trump in 2016, in addition to Minnesota, a top target for the Trump campaign. Recent polls conducted by Marist showed clear leads for Biden in Wisconsin and Michigan, while a Suffolk University poll last week gave Biden a six-point lead in Minnesota.
Cover: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gives a speech on the Supreme Court at The Queen Theater, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)