Analysis: Comparing Biden’s leads across state and national polls
Several political polls from the Mid-Atlantic region show former Vice President Joe Biden with a strong lead over President Donald Trump.
Associate News Editor
Editor’s Note: This analysis was based on polls collected nationwide. Polls do not always necessarily reflect the general consensus, which is always subject to change. Take note of these polls and specifically when they were conducted, as some data may have matured since.
Even though America remains divided on various social issues such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, several political polls from the Mid-Atlantic region show former Vice President Joe Biden with a strong lead over President Donald Trump.
On Oct. 5, the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication (CPC) released a new poll that shows Biden with a “commanding lead” over Trump in the state of Delaware.
“The poll results confirm that Biden is the heavy favorite to win his home state’s electoral votes,” Paul Brewer, the research director for CPC, said in the report. “Biden’s margin in Delaware is also consistent with a 7 to 8 point national lead for him.”
According to Brewer’s research, Biden currently has 54% support from Delawareans compared to Trump’s 33%. Brewer said the 21-point difference is “well outside the survey’s margin of error.” The survey has a 4% error, meaning that the results are accurate, adding or subtracting four points.
The poll also shows that Biden is leading by a 2-to-1 margin among female voters at 60% to 26%, and New Castle County voters at 63% to 26%. The race is much closer among male voters at 46% to 43%, Sussex County voters at 41% to 43% and Kent County voters at 40% to 44%.
The poll also focuses on local and Delaware politics.
The CPC reported that Governor John Carney has a 26-point lead over Republican Julianne Murray (55% to 29%). Democrat Chris Coons has a 30-point lead over Republican Lauren Witzke (57% to 27%) and Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester has a 22-point lead over Republican Lee Murphy (51% to 29%).
“The big overall leads for Carney, Coons, and Blunt Rochester reinforce the First State’s status as a solidly blue state,” Brewer said in the report.
According to the Monmouth University poll, for the past few months from July to October, Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania has fluctuated. It started at 13 points, 53% to 40%, on July 15 and reached an all-time low on Sept. 2 when his lead dropped down to four points, 49% to 45%.
The Monmouth University Polling Institute said this sudden drop was due to declining support for Biden from older male voters and voters in swing counties.
The most recent poll from Oct. 6 shows Biden with a 12-point lead over Trump. The polling institute said that this data “marks an improvement” from Biden’s single-point lead back in September.
The increase was due to Pennsylvanians supporting Biden on key issues, such as the handling of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to the poll, 52% trust Biden to handle the pandemic, whereas 34% said they trust Trump. Following Trump’s recent coronavirus diagnosis, his support dropped to 29%.
“If any recent event moved the needle it was more likely last week’s debate than the president’s Covid diagnosis,” Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in the report. “What seems to be more important than either event, though, is voters’ focus on which candidate they trust more on the issues that keep them up at night.”
According to the Monmouth poll, Biden leads Trump 54% to 42% as of Oct. 6. Monmouth said that although Biden leads in most of the social issue categories such as healthcare and law and order, he trails Trump regarding the economy at 39% to 44%.
Trump took to Twitter, where he questioned the validity of the Monmouth poll, calling the poll “fake” and claiming that he would win Pennsylvania.
“How does Biden lead in Pennsylvania Polls when he is against Fracking (JOBS!), 2nd Amendment and Religion? Fake Polls. I will win Pennsylvania!” Trump said in a tweet.
How does Biden lead in Pennsylvania Polls when he is against Fracking (JOBS!), 2nd Amendment and Religion? Fake Polls. I will win Pennsylvania!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
In a Rutgers-Eagleton poll from May 14, Biden leads Trump at 56% to 33% in New Jersey. However, Biden’s favorability is rather mixed, with 45% showing approval and 37% showing disapproval, with the remainder “unsure.” Trump’s favorability has largely remained stagnant, staying at around 60% disapproval.
The Rutgers-Eagleton poll also asked New Jerseyans whether the New Jersey primary should be replaced by entirely mail-in voting due to coronavirus concerns. The poll was heavily influenced by partisanship in which 70% of Democrats and 28% of Republicans supported the notion. The poll also revealed that “just 6%” of New Jerseyans knew that Governor Phil Murphy changed the date for the primaries to July 7.
Despite the numbers, 53% of voters said they would vote in the primary.
“Voting by mail — always a politically charged topic — has become one of the most polarizing issues at the intersection of politics and COVID-19, pitting the health and safety of poll workers and voters against questions of security and accuracy of voting by mail,” Ashley Koning, the director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, said in the report.
A recent Goucher College poll, the results of which were embargoed until Oct. 8, reported that Biden leads Trump handily in Maryland, but found Marylanders split on the topic of mail-in versus in-person voting.
The Goucher poll found Biden’s support at 61% versus Trump’s at 30%.
Marylanders were also asked about their favorability towards the vice presidential candidates, Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence. 61% viewed Harris favorably, versus 35% for Pence. Voters were also asked how Trump is handling his job as current president, to which 67% answered with disapproval.
Regarding mail-in versus in-person voting, the Goucher poll found Maryland to be an almost even split of 51% to 48%. Although the total percentages were almost equal, the poll found that 72% of Republicans favor voting in-person, either early or on Election Day, and that 39% of Democrats favor doing the same.
“Given the political demographics of the state, it’s never been a question of whether the Biden-Harris ticket would carry Maryland, but rather by how much,” Mileah Kromer, the director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center, said in the report. “If this gap in voter preferences widens just slightly on Election Day, it would result in the largest margin of victory in Maryland for a presidential candidate since President Lyndon B. Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater in 1964.”
Several national polls also show Biden leading Trump by strong margins. The most recent information from FiveThirtyEight shows Biden leading Trump at 52.5% to 41.9%, a total of about 11 points.
In a Reuters/Ipsos poll from Oct. 8, Biden currently leads, 45% to 38%, a seven-point lead. The poll shows 92% of Democrats and 14% of Republicans disapprove of Trump.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll also shows that if the election were held today, Democrats and Republicans have different interests in what they want in a candidate. The Democrats favor a candidate who has a robust coronavirus relief plan and the Republicans favor a candidate who is strong on the economy and job creation.
The poll asked voters to rank how they felt each candidate did on certain social issues. Biden leads on healthcare, coronavirus recovery, restoring trust in the national government, civil rights and the environment. Trump leads on the economy, immigration and handling crime and civil unrest.
Although voters were mixed on Trump’s handling of the American economy and employment, 80% of voters indicated that they were very or somewhat concerned about the spread of the coronavirus.