WASHINGTON: Democratic President Joe Biden trails Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in five of the six most important battleground states exactly a year before the US election as Americans express doubts about Biden’s age and dissatisfaction towards his handling of the economy, polls released yesterday showed.
Additional findings from the New York Times and Siena College Polls released today, however, showed that if Trump were to be convicted in criminal charges against him, some of his support in some swing states would erode by about 6% – “enough, potentially, to decide the election”.
Trump, his party’s frontrunner for the 2024 nomination as he seeks to regain the presidency, leads in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania, with Biden ahead in Wisconsin, yesterday’s results showed.
Biden defeated Trump in all six states in 2020, but Trump now leads by an average of 48% to 44% in those states, the polls showed.
While polls assessing the national popular vote have consistently showed Biden and Trump in a close race, presidential elections typically are decided by the outcomes in a handful of so-called swing states.
Biden’s victories in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – all swing states that Trump carried in 2016 – were instrumental in his 2020 victory.
Biden likely would need to carry many of those state again to win re-election.
Biden campaign reacts
“Predictions more than a year out tend to look a little different a year later. Don’t take our word for it: Gallup predicted an 8 point loss for President Obama only for him to win handedly a year later,” Biden campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz said in a statement, referring to Democrat Barack Obama’s 2012 victory over Republican Mitt Romney.
Munoz added that Biden’s campaign “is hard at work reaching and mobilising our diverse, winning coalition of voters one year out on the choice between our winning, popular agenda and MAGA (Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan) Republicans’ unpopular extremism. We’ll win in 2024 by putting our heads down and doing the work, not by fretting about a poll”.
By the numbers
Biden’s multiracial and multigenerational coalition appears to be fraying, the polls showed.
Voters under age 30 favour Biden, who is 80, by only a single percentage point, his lead among Hispanic voters is down to single digits and his advantage in urban areas is half of Trump’s edge in rural regions, the polls showed.
Black voters – a core Biden demographic – are now registering 22% support in these states for Trump, a level the New York Times reported was unseen in presidential politics for a Republican in modern times.
Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, told MSNBC today that any Democratic panic “is really unjustified” with the election still one year away.
“The poll is a useful warning to Democrats about the job they have to do. And the fact is, they have their work cut out for them. The economy is the key to all that,” Sabato said.
“It takes time for people to absorb new economic realities.”