Poll: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is leading President Trump in three states Trump’s campaign has identified as top flip opportunities, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll released Saturday.
The new survey shows Biden leading by a 50-41 margin among likely voters in Minnesota, possibly the Trump campaign’s top flip target, 46-42 in Nevada and 45-42 in New Hampshire. Biden also has a 5-point edge in Wisconsin, which went for Trump by less than 1 percent in 2016.
In all four states combined, Biden has a 48-42 lead among likely voters.
The poll marks an improvement for Trump in Wisconsin after the same survey showed him trailing the former vice president by 11 points in June.
But the poll shows Biden may be in a stronger position than Hillary Clinton was in 2016, with his leads in Minnesota, Nevada and New Hampshire extending beyond Clinton’s margins of victory in those states in the last presidential cycle.
The survey poll solidifies Trump’s campaign as one on defense, working to hold on to an array of states he won in 2016, including Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, while placing him behind in a number of the states in which he’s said he wants to go on the attack.
Biden has cemented his lead on the backs of traditional Democratic-leaning constituencies, holding a 54-38 edge among women, a 65-23 advantage among voters under 30 and a 59-27 lead among nonwhite voters. But the former vice president is also either narrowing the margin or even leading among demographics that historically favor the GOP, notably trailing by just 5 points among men and leading by 3 points with white voters and by a whopping 12 points among seniors.
The former vice president also holds an 11-point lead among suburban voters, who prognosticators say will decide the election. Trump won voters in the nation’s suburbs by 4 points in 2016.
Other polls released in recent weeks have shown Biden with a strong national lead but an advantage in a number of swing states, including Florida and Pennsylvania, that has narrowed in past months. While the president’s campaign is looking to at least replicate the map that gave him a surprise 2016 victory, the 2020 cycle has started to filter into expanded battleground states, with both Biden and Trump spending in Minnesota and the former vice president placing ad buys to defend New Hampshire.
Trump has mostly looked to rebound from his campaign’s summer nadir by doubling down on his praise of the White House’s coronavirus response, asserting that a vaccine will be available later this year, and casting himself as the candidate of “law and order” amid nationwide protests over systemic racism and police brutality.
However, it appears those arguments have not gained traction in key states; polling of likely voters in Minnesota and Wisconsin showed Biden with a 19-point lead on the question of who would do a better job on race relations, a 15-point edge on the issue of unifying America and an 11 point advantage on who would do a better job of battling the pandemic.
The two states have been at the epicenter of the national reckoning over systemic racism after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May and the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.
The New York Times/Siena College poll surveyed 814 likely voters in Minnesota, 445 likely voters in New Hampshire, 462 likely voters in Nevada and 760 likely voters in Wisconsin, all from Sept. 8 to Sept. 10. The margins of error for the four states are 3.9 percentage points, 5.5 percentage points, 5.3 percentage points and 4.7 percentage points, respectively.