A Bloomberg News and Morning Consult poll provides one of the most detailed looks yet at how the 2024 presidential race is playing out in the seven swing states that could decide who wins the White House.
(Bloomberg) — A Bloomberg News and Morning Consult poll provides one of the most detailed looks yet at how the 2024 presidential race is playing out in the seven swing states that could decide who wins the White House.
The poll is ominous for President Joe Biden, who is trailing Republican frontrunner Donald Trump on several crucial metrics.
Here are the key takeaways:
Trump Leads in Key States
Trump is leading Biden in head-to-head races in five of the seven swing states: Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden leads in Nevada, and it’s a tie in Michigan.
Making matters worse for Biden: They’re all states he won in 2020, except for North Carolina. All of Trump’s leads are within the margin of error for those states, but his cumulative advantage across the seven swing states is a significant 4-point lead — outside the poll’s 1-point margin of error.
Voters Aren’t Buying ‘Bidenomics’
Underlying Biden’s swing-state woes is a trust deficit on economic issues. Voters in those states favor Trump over Biden on the economy by a 14-point margin. Inflation was the most important economic issue for voters, especially women, blue-collar workers and retirees.
Biden’s attempt to brand his economic platform as “Bidenomics” isn’t working. Almost twice as many voters say Bidenomics is bad for the economy compared to those who say it’s good. Independents are even more likely to view it negatively.
One piece of good news for Biden: many individual components are popular, including reducing prescription drug costs, making child care more affordable and building infrastructure.
Trump Gains Favor with Unions
Trump is gaining popularity among union households, encroaching on one of Biden’s strengths.
Swing-state union voters still prefer Biden over Trump by 13 percentage points. In Michigan, a stronghold for organized labor, the lead is only 11 points. That’s less than half the 25-point advantage Biden had among Michigan’s union households in 2020, according to exit polls, helping him win the state and clinch the presidency.
Biden’s electric car policies have strong support despite Trump frequently bashing the ideas. Voters like federal funding for electric vehicle and battery production, with 67% of swing-state union households and 54% of non-union households supporting the subsidies the president signed into law.
Biden Trails on Foreign Policy
Biden has sought to contrast his decades of experience on the world stage — as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, vice president and commander-in-chief — with Trump’s more chaotic approach to global affairs.
Despite that, the poll shows Trump with a significant advantage on foreign policy. He leads Biden by 11 points on US-China relations — important to Republicans — and by 7 points on the Russia-Ukraine war, which Democrats cited as a priority.
The poll didn’t address the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, which began on Oct. 7, in the middle of the period during which the poll was conducted.
Third Parties Could Play Spoiler
The poll tested Trump and Biden head-to-head and against a number of third-party options, which generally harmed the president’s chances of reelection.
For example, in Nevada, the poll shows Biden winning by 3 percentage points against Trump, but losing by 3 points when third parties are included. Both results are within the state’s 4-point margin of error.
There are plenty of caveats here. The poll started before Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West announced that they would run for president as independents. The No Labels campaign also hasn’t decided who its candidate will be. Those factors could introduce risks for Trump not captured in the poll.
Focus on Biden’s Age
Swing-state voters are thinking about Biden’s age much more than Trump’s. About 30% of Biden voters in the seven key states said the vice presidential candidate is much more important than it has been in prior elections, compared to 24% of those who plan to vote for Trump.
Trump will be 78 next year and Biden will be 81, which would make either of them the oldest person ever to be elected to the presidency.
Biden’s age also came up in hundreds of responses to open-ended questions in the survey. Only two respondents mentioned Trump’s age, but many referenced his multiple indictments and legal entanglements.
The Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll surveyed 5,023 registered voters in seven swing states: 804 registered voters in Arizona, 801 in Georgia, 706 in Michigan, 503 in Nevada, 702 in North Carolina, 807 in Pennsylvania and 700 in Wisconsin. The surveys were conducted online from Oct. 5 to Oct. 10, and the aggregated data across the seven swing states were weighted to approximate a target sample of swing state registered voters based on gender, age, race/ethnicity, marital status, home ownership, 2020 presidential vote and state. State-level data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters in the respective state based on gender, age, race/ethnicity, marital status, home ownership, and 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percentage point across the seven states; 3 percentage points in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania; and 4 percentage points in Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
–With assistance from Alex Tanzi.
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