Trump leads Biden in AZ, FL, MI, NC, PA and WI

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in six 2020 swing states, as the Republican National Convention changed little in the race for the White House, according to a new CNBC/Change Research poll.

Across Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the former vice president holds a 49% to 45% edge over the Republican incumbent, the survey released Wednesday found. It compares with a 49% to 46% edge Biden held in a poll taken two weeks ago, after the Democratic National Convention but before the GOP’s nominating events. 

Biden holds at least a narrow lead in all six of the states, which will play a major role in determining who wins the White House on Nov. 3. Here is where the race stands in all of those states, and how it has changed from the last survey: 

  • Arizona: Biden 49%, Trump 45% (was Biden 49%, Trump 47%) 
  • Florida: Biden 49%, Trump 46% (unchanged)
  • Michigan: Biden 49%, Trump 43% (was Biden 50%, Trump 44%) 
  • North Carolina: Biden 49%, Trump 47% (was Biden 48%, Trump 47%)
  • Pennsylvania: Biden 50%, Trump 46% (was Biden 49%, Trump 46%)
  • Wisconsin: Biden 50%, Trump 44% (was Biden 49%, Trump 44%)

The poll, taken Friday through Sunday, surveyed 4,143 likely voters across the six states and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points. 

It shows a race changing little even in a period where presidential candidates can see a temporary bump after they inundate voters at their nominating conventions. Though Biden’s lead in both national and swing-state polling averages has fallen from highs seen during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic in June and July, the CNBC/Change Research polls find the presidential race largely unchanged by events in recent weeks. 

The survey released Wednesday found swing-state voters’ views of Trump and Biden have not meaningfully changed over the last two weeks. This week, 45% of respondents said they have favorable feelings about Trump, versus 52% who said they view him unfavorably. It compares with a 46% to 51% favorable to unfavorable spread two weeks ago. 

Opinions on Biden did not budge at all. In Wednesday’s survey, 45% of likely voters said they had a favorable view of the Democratic nominee, while 49% responded that they had unfavorable feelings about him. The numbers were the same two weeks ago. 

Respondents were asked to choose the three most important issues facing the country. The most common choice was the economy, jobs and cost of living, picked by 43% of likely voters, followed by political corruption at 38%. Another 35% of respondents chose Covid-19, followed by law and order at 29%, and racism and discrimination at 27%.

The major parties have drastically different views on the most important issues. Among Democrats, 61% chose Covid-19 and 51% picked racism and discrimination. But among GOP voters, 58% chose law and order — a common rhetorical device Trump uses to criticize protests against police brutality and racism — and 53% picked the economy, jobs and cost of living. 

— Graphic by CNBC’s John Schoen

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