Biden Gains Ground against Trump in 6 Key US States, New Poll Shows

Biden Gains Ground against Trump in 6 Key US States, New Poll Shows

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - United States President Joe Biden has gained ground against Republican Donald Trump in six of seven key swing states, and significantly so in at least two of them.

The results make for the Democrat’s strongest position yet in a monthly Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll.

The move in the president’s direction comes after five months of mostly consistent Trump leads, and follows a State of the Union address that rallied Democrats and seemed to mitigate concerns about Mr. Biden’s age, Bloomberg reported.

The shift was significant in Wisconsin, where Mr. Biden leads Trump by one point after trailing him by four points in February, and in Pennsylvania, where the candidates are tied after Trump held a six-point lead in February. They are also tied in Michigan.

It is too soon to know whether the improved showing is a one-time bump or the beginning of a more durable change in the race, and Mr. Biden continues to lag the presumptive Republican nominee in four crucial states. But November victories in so-called Blue Wall northern battlegrounds would all but vault Mr. Biden to a second term.

Mr. Biden’s more upbeat numbers come at an inflection point in a campaign matchup that has seemed predetermined for months.

The president and Trump each clinched their parties’ nominations on March 12, beginning an extraordinarily long general election season.

Trump is currently strapped for campaign cash and holding fewer rallies and events, while Mr. Biden has kicked his re-election effort into high gear and is barnstorming the swing states, including a trip to North Carolina on March 26.

The poll also finds consumers feel better about the national economy, with a gradual increase in the number of swing-state voters who say it is on the right track.

The poll of 4,932 registered voters, which has an overall margin of error of 1 percentage point, offers a snapshot of where the candidates stand as they ramp up what is certain to be the most expensive campaign ever.

Mr. Biden narrowed or overcame his gap with Trump in many swing states.

While the poll found Mr. Biden was most competitive in Blue Wall states, he also chipped away at his February deficit to Trump in Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina. In the seventh state, Georgia, Trump added to his lead. In some cases, the shift was within the margin of error.

Mr. Biden is blitzing all of those places with advertising, with 64 per cent of his campaign’s broadcast television dollars spent since August in the Blue Wall states that looked most favorable for him.

Trump still leads across the seven swing states, 47 per cent to 43 per cent.

With third-party candidates included, Trump is ahead with 43 per cent. Mr. Biden has 38 per cent, with Mr. Robert Kennedy Jr at 9 per cent and Mr. Cornel West and Ms. Jill Stein each at 1 per cent.

A majority of voters with a favorable opinion of Ms. Nikki Haley said they would vote for Trump in a head-to-head matchup in November, suggesting he is picking up many of the supporters of his former primary challenger.

Mr. Biden was buoyed by his State of the Union address

The poll was conducted starting March 8, the day after Mr. Biden delivered a spirited and unusually political speech before Congress that drew sharp contrasts with Trump – whom he referred to only as “my predecessor” – on issues like foreign policy, abortion rights, the border and gun control.

More than a third of voters said they had seen positive news about Mr. Biden recently, the highest level since polling began in October.

The speech may have helped with one of Mr. Biden’s biggest campaign obstacles: concerns about his age. About six in 10 voters said that vice-presidential running mates will be more important in 2024 because Mr. Biden will be 81 and Trump will be 78 on Election Day. That was a seven-point drop from the February poll, which was fielded shortly after a special counsel’s report called Mr. Biden an “elderly man with a poor memory”.

Perceptions of Mr. Biden’s State of the Union address were tinted by partisanship. In response to open-ended questions about what they had heard recently about the candidates, Mr. Biden supporters called the speech fiery and energetic, while Trump supporters called it horrible and angry.

Nearly half of Mr. Biden’s voters say their aim is more to stop Trump

When asked if their support for Trump or Mr. Biden was more a vote for their chosen candidate or against the other one, a gap emerged.

Fewer than three in 10 Trump supporters said theirs was a vote against Mr. Biden. However, nearly half of Biden voters said theirs was a vote against Trump.

In Wisconsin, where Mr. Biden leads, six in 10 of his supporters said their vote was a vote against Trump.

While those findings suggest a strong enthusiasm for Trump among his supporters, they also hint at a potential voter-turnout engine for Mr. Biden.

 “Negative energy motivates people,” said Mr. Eli Yokley, US politics analyst for Morning Consult. “And the people who are supporting Joe Biden today are much more likely to express that negative energy that energized his 2020 campaign.”

Voters see a brightening economic picture, but still tend to trust Trump on those issues

Swing-state voters trust Trump over Mr. Biden on a wide range of pocketbook issues, including interest rates and the availability of good jobs, a gap that underscores a major challenge for the president in a race where the economy is swing-state voters’ top issue.

Yet, on a number of measures, the poll found that swing-state voters’ perception of the economy is gradually improving. The percentage saying the national economy is on the right track has increased by 6 points, from 26 per cent in October to 32 per cent.

Swing-state voters said in October their personal financial situation was better off under Trump by a 20-point margin. It is now 16 points.

And the number of people saying the economy is the single most important issue has also declined, from 39 to 34 per cent.

At the same time, the proportion who cite immigration as their top issue has nearly doubled, to 17 per cent.

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