Trump Hit With Wave of Grim Polls in Battleground States

Democrat Joe Biden is widening his lead against President Donald Trump in a slew of crucial battleground states, according to a fresh round of state polls released Wednesday.

Quinnipiac University polls show Biden leading Trump by 11 percentage points in Florida, 13 points in Pennsylvania and 5 points in Iowa.

Two New York Times/Siena College polls found Biden leading by 6 points in Nevada and 1 point in Ohio. And a Marquette University Law School poll has Biden up in Wisconsin by 5 points.

The polls reflect voters’ views since the widely panned debate on Sept. 29 in which Trump continuously interrupted and cross-talked over Biden, and during which his family disobeyed rules set by debate hosts to wear masks in the debate hall. Days later, Trump and his wife, Melania, were diagnosed with Covid-19 and by Friday, the president was hospitalized, remaining there for three days.

The New York Times/Siena polls were conducted entirely after Trump was hospitalized, while the others were in the field when Trump disclosed the diagnosis early Friday.

The states covered by these polls are critical to either candidate getting the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency. Although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, her narrow losses in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin contributed to her defeat. Other recent polls have Biden up by more than 6 points in Michigan.

Voters in all six states said Biden won the last presidential debate by roughly 2-to-1 ratios. The battleground polls also show an erosion in confidence in Trump’s ability to contain the coronavirus after he himself contracted the disease.

National polls this week show Biden maintaining an increasing lead in a race where such movements have been rare. Biden’s lead in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls is now 9.4 points — his biggest advantage since June and twice the lead that Clinton had at the same point in 2016.

“The president’s hopes for re-election are growing dimmer by the day,” said Quinnipiac pollster Tim Malloy.

The most significant change appears to be in Florida, where Biden had a 3.5-point lead in the RealClearPolitics average before the addition of the Quinnipiac poll. Two weeks ago, Biden’s lead was 1.3 points, making it a toss-up.

Hispanic voters could be one reason for the movement. Amid an aggressive ad campaign targeted at Spanish-speaking audiences, Biden has taken a 14-point lead among Hispanic voters in Florida. The same Quinnipiac poll showed him trailing among Latinos by 2 points in September. Biden is also improving his stature among older voters across several of the state polls.

The Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin polls found smaller movements but still represent a significant improvement from Clinton’s performance four years ago. Trump won Wisconsin by less than 1 percentage point in 2016 and Ohio by 8 points.

The margins of error are 4.3 points for the New York Times survey, 4.2 points for Marquette poll and 2.8 points for Quinnipiac.

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