Trump Pulls Even in PA – New Monmouth Poll Says Biden’s Support in PA Has Evaporated [UPDATED 9-3-20]
UPDATE 11:53 am ET, Sept. 3 – Rasmussen is now reporting that Trump erased Biden’s 8-point lead in Pennsylvania as blacks abandon Democrat Joe Biden.
And, significantly, said the poll analysis, among the 82% of voters who said that they are “certain” how they will vote, Trump holds a 51%-49% advantage.
Rasmussen is the second poll in two days to show the race in Pennsylvania, a key battleground state, has become a tie.
Last month Joe Biden had a 13-point lead over President Trump in Pennsylvania, but now Trump has gained and is within the margin of error among all registered voters in Pennsylvania, according to the Monmouth University Poll.
Among likely voters, the race is a tight 1 to 3 points, depending on the expected turnout level.
This massive shift from Biden’s larger lead just over six weeks ago is due to declining support for the challenger among men, voters under age 50, and voters in key swing counties.
The generic House ballot also remains close, while Democrats are in a generally better position in a trio of contests for statewide offices.
The poll also finds that a small, but important, portion of the electorate agrees with the Republican message that the American suburbs are under threat.
Among all registered voters in Pennsylvania, the race for president stands at 49% for Biden and 45% for Trump. Another 2% support Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, less than 1% back the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins, and 4% are undecided.
Voter intent includes 43% who say they are certain to vote for Biden (versus 44% who say they are not at all likely to support the Democrat) and 40% who are certain to support Trump (versus 47% who are not at all likely).
The current results mark a narrowing of the wide lead Biden held in Pennsylvania in mid-July when his polling support nationally reached a summertime peak.
Monmouth’s prior poll showed registered voter intent at 53% for Biden (with 45% certain) and 40% for Trump (with 36% certain). The high turnout likely voter model had a 10-point lead for the Democrat (52% to 42%) and the low turnout model had a 7-point lead (51% to 44%).
“This is really a game of inches. The Trump campaign is looking to peel off a little bit of Biden support here and a little bit there. It may be working, despite the fact that Pennsylvania voters personally like the Democrat more, although this gap has narrowed,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Biden now has a 48% favorable to 46% unfavorable rating, including 37% very unfavorable. In mid-July this rating stood at 45% favorable to 47% unfavorable (with 32% very unfavorable). In comparison, 44% of Pennsylvania voters have a favorable opinion of Trump and 51% have an unfavorable one – including 45% very unfavorable. His July rating was 40% favorable to 54% unfavorable (with 47% very unfavorable).
Biden maintains a solid 59% to 35% lead among women (similar to 60% to 34% in July), but he has lost ground among men. They prefer Trump by 56% to 37%, compared with a much closer 47% to 45% margin in July. Biden is holding onto his edge among voters aged 65 and older (53% to 42% now and 52% to 42% in July), while Trump has the advantage among voters 50 to 64 years old (54% to 45% now and 56% to 43% in July).
Biden maintains a lead among voters under age 50 (49% to 40%), but it is not as sizable as it was just over six weeks ago (60% to 29%). There has not been much change among white voters, including those with a college degree (58% Biden to 40% Trump now and 61% to 34% in July) and those without a college education (57% Trump to 35% Biden now and 55% to 39% in July).
Voters of color have become somewhat less certain of their choice. Biden maintains a sizable lead with this group (72% to 15% versus 76% to 16% in July), but a larger number are now undecided (9% now versus 3% in July).
“The Republican convention attempted to sow some seeds of doubt among core Democratic blocs, especially young and urban voters. It looks like they may have had a small amount of success with that, at least for now,” said Murray.
Trump has increased his support in ten counties where the vote margins were closest in the 2016 presidential election. In these swing counties*, which are concentrated in a swath that runs from the Philadelphia suburbs into the northeast region of the commonwealth, the race stands at 46% for Trump and 44% for Biden. Just over six weeks ago, Biden had a sizable 54% to 35% lead among voters in this key county grouping. Hillary Clinton won the aggregate vote in these ten counties by just over one percentage point four years ago
“There’s a reason Trump campaigned in Scranton during the Democratic convention. This crucial region of the commonwealth is still up for grabs,” said Murray.