Following a recent poll of voters in several battleground states, former Vice President Joe Biden’s electability is in question.
A new poll conducted by WPA Intelligence — which describes itself as a “leading provider of political intelligence for campaigns from President to Governor and U.S. Senate to Mayor and City Council in all 50 states” — suggests that in a prospective head-to-head matchup between Biden and President Trump, Trump slightly edges out Biden in four of six battleground states by an overall margin of 46-44. This includes the battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which secured the Electoral College for Trump in 2016. Florida, Iowa, and Texas were also included in WPA’s poll.
The key driver of Trump’s support in those states mainly comes from non-college-educated voters making less than $75,000/year in annual income. In that group, Trump holds a 26-point edge over Biden, according to the poll. Trump also had a slight 47-45 advantage over Biden in support from suburban voters. While women aged 18-54 were evenly split between President Trump and President Obama’s former second-in-command, Trump had 45% support among women 55 and older, while Biden had just 41% support.
The state-by-state breakdown of how a Trump-Biden matchup would play out in key 2020 battleground states showed Trump winning in Florida (Trump 48%, Biden 44%), Iowa (Trump 49%, Biden 44%), Texas (Trump 49%, Biden 42%), and Wisconsin (Trump 46%, Biden 42%). Biden slightly won out in Michigan (Biden 45%, Trump 42%) and Pennsylvania (Biden 46%, Trump 45%). Ohio — which also has a reputation as a purple state in the Rust Belt that plays a pivotal role in electing presidents — was not included in the poll.
Biden has cast himself as the best candidate in the crowded 2020 Democratic field to beat Trump. In a recent column, Washington Post contributor Eugene Robinson said Biden would do well with “white working-class voters in the Rust Belt who gave Trump his 2016 victory.” However, that argument seems to fly in the face of this new polling data.
In the RealClearPolitics polling average, Biden holds a 7.5-point lead over Trump in a prospective general election matchup. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who is Biden’s closest rival in recent polls, has a 4.4-point lead over President Trump. However, a recent survey from Emerson Polling shows both Biden and Sanders have a 56-44 lead over Trump in a prospective general election matchup. And while Biden has an overall edge over Sanders, the Vermont senator leads the former vice president among young voters aged 18-29 by a margin of 41% to 11%.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.