New CBS polls show Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden 6 percentage points ahead of President Donald Trump among potential voters in both Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, decisive battlefield states that Hillary Clinton lost by less than 1 point in the 2016 elections.
There is still a long way to go before the election, and battlefield state polls have to deal with a grain of salt, but the results suggest Biden may have an edge in the Belt States that helped Trump secure victory. his in 2016 – and that Trump’s sharp response to the coronavirus crisis is playing an important role in Biden ̵6;s assessments.
While the polls, which were conducted by YouGov on behalf of CBS between August 4 and 7, show Biden in the lead, it is important to note that the former vice president’s presidency is within the error margin of the two polls, which means that Trump could actually be a slightly better poll than Biden. In Pennsylvania, polls found Biden ahead of Trump with 49 percent support for the president 43 percent. That poll has a margin of 3.7 percentage points, meaning Trump could have support up to 46.7 percent and Biden even 45.3 percent.
The Wisconsin poll – which had an error margin of 3.8 percentage points – found that Biden leads Trump from 48 percent to 42 percent.
In Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, independent voters were found to favor Biden. Clinton lost this group in both states before Trump; and Biden is also surpassing the Clinton vote share among white voters with and without college degrees. However, it should be noted that the two data points are not directly comparable – while the poll data in this case comes from potential voters who may or may not actually go to the polls, the 2016 voting data come from voters who did, in fact, get out
Polls found the coronavirus pandemic as a strong link to candidate preference – in fact, in its analysis of the survey data, CBS found that views on the pandemic were more related to voting than views on the economy.
“Those who say the Wisconsin explosion is a crisis are voting for Biden in even greater numbers than those who say the economy is too bad. The small group who think the explosion is not much of a problem behind Mr. Trump. “in a larger number than voters who say the state’s economy is good,” the analysis said.
The public perception of the president’s pandemic response is highly polarizing – and polls in recent months have shown that the public finds it the most important issue facing the nation. CNN poll expert Harry Enten has argued that this is bad news for Trump, as historical poll data suggests that “anyone who trusts the non-economic issue more is likely to win the election.”
State voting should be done with a grain of salt
Voting in battlefield states is important – especially given that the US presidential election is determined by the electoral college, not by popular vote. But state voting also has significant limitations, and Biden’s continued leadership in them (including other states such as Michigan, Florida, and North Carolina) should not be seen as a sure sign of his victory in those states and elections. General.
Consider a Marquette Law School poll in Wisconsin in late October 2016 boosted Clinton by 6 percentage points – the same advantage Biden has in the CBS Pennsylvania and Wisconsin polls – but Trump eventually won the state by 0.7 points.
As Vox’s Li Zhou explained, there are many reasons that a number of state polls were off the record in 2016 compared to the final election results. Some of them have been corrected during this election cycle – for example, on the eve of 2016, some polls overestimated Clinton voters because they failed to weigh in on education, and that is no longer the case. (The CBS survey is weighted for education.)
But there are still plenty of obstacles. Voting is always a picture of a specific time, and ultimately can not give a definitive picture of the likelihood that someone sharing his preference with a poll will appear in the voting booth on election day, nor can necessarily predict late models – abducting voters deciding on their candidate in the last days before the election (something that played a crucial role in Trump’s victory).
Adding to the uncertainty is that the pandemic makes predictions particularly difficult, as Zhou explains:
In particular, the use of postal votes due to the coronavirus pandemic makes predicting the composition of the electorate much more difficult. It is unclear how much turnout will match previous years due to public health concerns about physical polling stations and questions about the number of people who will use postal ballots in the country.
“It’s hard to make a turnout model because you’re not sure who will come out. It will be even harder in an election that has mass mailing,” says the New University professor of political science. Mexico Lonna Atkeson.
After all: voting is promising for Biden, but polls should not be confused with perfect outcome predictions.
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