The Lead

New Monmouth Poll: Biden up by 13 points in Pa.; ‘Secret’ Trump vote anticipated

By: - July 15, 2020 11:48 am

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden would like to win Pennsylvania in 2020 (Capital-Star file)

A new Monmouth University poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading president Donald Trump by 13 percentage points among all registered voters in Pennsylvania, and by 7 percent to 10 percent among likely voters, dependent upon turnout.

Biden leads Trump 53-40 percent among all registered voters, according to the poll, with Biden enjoying stronger support among Democrats (93-1 percent) than does Trump (84-12 percent). Biden also leads 54-33 percent among independents, according to the poll.

The new poll by the New Jersey-based university also shows Biden leading Trump, who has struggled to catch the former vice president in national canvasses, in such the four counties in suburban Philadelphia, as well as Allegheny County, and Biden’s home turf in Lackawanna County, the poll found.

Trump carried Pennsylvania by less than a percentage point in 2016 when he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton to win the White House.

(Source: Monmouth University Poll)

But “despite the challenger’s poll lead, voters are evenly divided on who they think will win the Keystone State’s electoral votes this year as a majority believe that their communities hold a number of ‘secret Trump voters,'” according to the poll.

“Even taking into account any polling error from four years ago, Biden is clearly doing well in swing areas. The Democrat has roots in this region which may be helping him, but there seems to be an overall erosion of support for Trump compared to 2016,” Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray said in an email.

Some other key findings among registered voters:

  • “Biden has the advantage among voters under 50 years old (60% to 29%) as well as voters age 65 and older (52% to 42%). Trump has an edge among voters between 50 and 64 years old (56% to 43%). White voters without a college degree also prefer the incumbent (55% to 39%) while the challenger leads among white college graduates (61% to 34%) and voters who are Black, Hispanic, Asian or from other racial groups (76% to 16%),” the poll found.
  • Among registered voters, Biden commands an enthusiasm edge, with 45 percent of respondents saying they’re certain they will vote for the Delaware Democrat, compared to 36 percent who say the same about Trump.
  • Trump’s favorables are underwater among registered voters, with 54 percent of respondents saying they have a very or somewhat unfavorable impression, compared to 47 percent of respondents who say the same of Biden.
  • Mirroring national trends, 56 percent of registered voters say Trump has done a very bad or somewhat bad job of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 43 percent who say he’s done a very good or somewhat good job handling a virus that’s claimed the lives of 136,000 Americans.
  • 96 percent of all registered respondents say they’re very motivated to vote in November. And when asked who they think will ultimately win the state in November, registered voters gave Trump a razor-thing 46-45 percent edge over Biden.

The poll, conducted from July 9-13, includes the opinions of 401 Pennsylvania voters, with a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points. The sample includes both landline and cell phone participants.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.