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US poll: Joe Biden has eight-point lead in Pennsylvania

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Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Joe Biden has a sizable lead over President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, according to a new poll released on Thursday, and almost everyone’s mind is already made up.

The Quinnipiac University survey – one of several this week that show Biden with substantial leads in battleground states – found 52 per cent of likely voters supporting Biden, compared with 44 per cent for Trump.

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And 94 per cent have settled on their pick for president, the poll said.

If accurate, that would leave Trump little room to maneuver in the race’s final two months.

The Quinnipiac poll paints a different picture than one released just a day earlier by Monmouth University.

The Monmouth survey depicted a much tighter contest in Pennsylvania, with Biden leading by between 1 and 3 percentage points, depending on the level of voter turnout. That’s essentially a toss-up – and in line with strategists in both parties, who have long said they expect the contest in Pennsylvania to be close.

Other August polls from Muhlenberg College and Change Research have also suggested a closer race in Pennsylvania, while Franklin and Marshall College recently found a Biden lead of 7 percentage points.

Trump, who visited south-west Pennsylvania on Thursday night, won the state by less than one percentage point in 2016, one of three razor-thin battleground-state wins that helped him secure the White House.

Both parties see the state as critical to the 2020 election and have showcased its importance this week: After the president’s visit, his daughter Ivanka is stumping in Chester County on Friday.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke in north-eastern Pennsylvania on Tuesday and the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, stopped in Bucks County on Monday.

Biden delivered a major campaign speech in Pittsburgh on Monday.

The Quinnipiac results are in line with numerous national polls released this week.

The surveys suggest that the national party conventions, and Trump’s increasing focus on crime and civil unrest, have done little to change the overall dynamics of the election since earlier this summer, when polls showed Biden leading nationally and in key swing states.

One bright spot for Trump is that voters still favor him on the economy – 52 per cent to 45 per cent _ and 29 per cent say that’s the most important issue in the election, the most of any topic.

An additional 15 per cent rated “law and order” as their top concern.

But on a range of other major issues, Biden leads. Among them: handling a crisis (52 per cent favor Biden, 44 per cent Trump), health care (54 per cent to 42 per cent), responding to the coronavirus (54 per cent to 41 per cent), and handling racial inequality (57 per cent to 38 per cent).

“The economy is key in Pennsylvania and a majority of likely voters approve of the way President Trump is handling it, but it’s overshadowed by Trump’s handling of the coronavirus and his overall job approval.”

Both are registering double digit deficits,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Mary Snow.

Forty-three percent said they approved of the job Trump is doing, while 54 percent disapproved.

The poll surveyed 1,107 likely voters in Pennsylvania from Aug. 28 through Tuesday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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