Poll Shows Trump Gaining on Biden in Pennsylvania

Vice President Joe Biden and Presidet Donald Trump will vie for voters in November. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(CN) — Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump is narrowing in the crucial swing state of Pennsylvania, a poll released Wednesday shows.

The Monmouth University survey found that, over the past six months, Trump has gained 9 percentage points in the state he won by less than 1% in the 2016 election.

Biden now holds a 4-point lead over the president among all registered voters in the key battleground state, and depending on turnout in November, a mere 1 to 3-point lead among likely voters. Both figures are within the poll’s margin of error of 4.9%.

“This is really a game of inches. The Trump campaign is looking to peel off a little bit of Biden support here and a little bit there. It may be working, despite the fact that Pennsylvania voters personally like the Democrat more, although this gap has narrowed,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement Wednesday. 

In a July Monmouth poll with a model forecasting high turnout for likely voters, Biden held a 10-point lead, while results in the event of a low voter turnout showed a 7-point advantage.  

In the new poll that shows Biden’s shrinking lead, 49% of registered voters said they support the former vice president, 45% support Trump and 3% are choosing to back third-party candidates. The rest said they are undecided.

“The current results mark a narrowing of the wide lead Biden held in Pennsylvania in mid-July when his polling support nationally reached a summertime peak,” the pollsters wrote in a release of the new data. 

They say Biden’s larger lead just over six weeks ago has diminished due to “declining support for the challenger among men, voters under age 50, and voters in key swing counties.”

While the support of Pennsylvania men for Biden has faltered, the Democrat maintains a solid lead among women. And though Biden has a sizeable lead among voters of color, 9% of those surveyed said they are undecided, compare to 3% in July.

“The Republican convention attempted to sow some seeds of doubt among core Democratic blocs, especially young and urban voters. It looks like they may have had a small amount of success with that, at least for now,” Murray said. 

Interviews for the survey took place after the Republican National Convention in late August, which sparked criticism over some speakers’ responses to anti-racism protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and other social issues. 

Biden is expected to speak Thursday in Kenosha, where unrest was fueled by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer, which left Blake paralyzed, and the killing of two people protesting against racial injustice. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, has been charged with the murders. Trump visited the city on Tuesday.

The poll shows that Trump has increased his support in 10 swing counties in Pennsylvania, where the vote margins were the tightest during the 2016 presidential election. 

“In a swath that runs from the Philadelphia suburbs into the northeast region of the commonwealth, the race stands at 46% for Trump and 44% for Biden,” the poll release states.

The pollsters noted that just over six weeks ago, Biden held a significant 54% to 35% lead among voters in this “key county grouping.”

“There’s a reason Trump campaigned in Scranton during the Democratic convention. This crucial region of the commonwealth is still up for grabs,” Murray said. 

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