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Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Back issues
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Poll Shows Trump Trailing in Two Key Swing States

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that President Donald Trump would beat every Democratic contender in Wisconsin in the 2020 presidential election but would lose by a thin margin to the same candidates in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

(CN) – A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that President Donald Trump would beat every Democratic contender in Wisconsin in the 2020 presidential election but would lose by a thin margin to the same candidates in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The survey of voters in the three Rust Belt states, which were critical battlegrounds on the way to an upset victory for the president in 2016, made the case that Trump is in fighting shape but will face tough contests in each state, with Wisconsin voters seeming the most likely to back his reelection.

Trump bested every Democratic hopeful in the Badger State, with the poll giving him a 7 to 11-point advantage in each head-to-head matchup.

In Wisconsin, the president topped former Vice President Joe Biden 49% to 42% and edged out Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders 50% to 43%, according to the poll. Trump was ahead of Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar 50 to 39%, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren 51 to 41%, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg 49 to 41%, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg 49 to 41%.

Trump narrowly won Wisconsin by less than 1 percentage point over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 after losing the state’s Republican primary contest to Texas Senator Ted Cruz by more than 13 points. The state will prove to be a key linchpin for any candidate eyeing the White House in 2020.

Quinnipiac’s poll shows a reverse picture in Pennsylvania, where Trump trailed half of the six Democratic contenders by between 6 and 8% and was in tight races with the remaining three.

Biden beat Trump 50 to 42%, Klobuchar came out ahead 49 to 42% and Bloomberg bested Trump 48 to 42%, according to the poll. As for the remaining candidates, Sanders edged out Trump 48 to 44%, Buttigieg beat him 47 to 43% and Warren narrowly defeated the president 47 to 44%, showing very close races in Pennsylvania with those three candidates that fall near or within the poll’s 3.4% margin of error.

Registered voters polled in Michigan indicated similarly slim wins for Democrats.

Sanders topped Trump 48 to 43%, Bloomberg beat him 47 to 42%, Biden got 47% to Trump’s 43% and Warren got 45% against Trump got 43%. Both Buttigieg and Klobuchar barely beat the president in the Wolverine State, each coming out on top only 45 to 44%.

When the poll asked about favorability, President Trump more or less split the difference with Democrats in Wisconsin, with 50% of voters saying they have a favorable opinion of him and 47% say they have an unfavorable opinion. More than half of registered voters had a negative view of Trump in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Quinnipiac polling analyst Mary Snow interpreted those results as meaning “voters aren’t showing much enthusiasm about any candidate,” saying that “getting a split favorability rating is the high water mark.”

Wisconsin also has the most love for Trump in terms of approval ratings. 51% of Badger State voters approve of the job the president is doing, whereas 46% disapprove. Both Michigan and Pennsylvania voters showed the opposite, with 54% disapproving and 42% approving in the Wolverine State and 54% disapproving and 44% approving in the Keystone State.

The survey showed the economy was the most important issue for voters in all three states, with health care and climate change following as the second and third most important issues. Snow pointed out that these differences are stark when broken down by political party.

“Voters citing the economy as the number one issue are voting overwhelmingly for President Trump,” she said in a statement. “But the exact opposite is true for voters who say health care or climate change are their top issues, who are voting overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates.”

Trump generally received high praise from those surveyed for his handling of the economy. Wisconsin voters approve of Trump’s economic track record 59 to 38%, compared to a 57 to 41% margin in Pennsylvania and a 52 to 44% difference in Michigan.

Sixty-two percent of Wisconsinites say their personal financial situation is better than it was in 2016, whereas 57% and 55% said the same in Pennsylvania and Michigan, respectively, reinforcing the notion that the strong economy is reflecting well on the president going forward in 2020. Only between 11 and 15% of those polled in each state said they feel the economy in each of their states is getting worse under President Trump.

Quinnipiac polled 823 registered voters in Wisconsin, 845 in Michigan and 849 in Pennsylvania between Feb.12 and18.

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