One of the keys to Donald Trump's 2016 election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton was his win in the state of Pennsylvania, edging Clinton by a mere 1.2 percentage points, per Politico data, and becoming the first Republican to win the state — with its crucial 20 electoral votes — in a presidential election since George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis there in the 1988 election.
But if the election were held today, Trump would lose Pennsylvania decisively to Democratic former United States Vice President Joe Biden in a head-to-head election, according to a new poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University. The poll results show Biden crushing Trump in the crucial "rust belt" state by 11 percentage points, with 53 percent to just 42 percent for Trump.
The poll was the second taken in Pennsylvania pitting Trump directly against Biden — but the previous poll, by Emerson College, was taken in March, a full month before Biden officially declared his candidacy.
Nonetheless, even in the Emerson poll, Biden trounced Trump in Pennsylvania, taking 55 percent to 45 for Trump — a 10-point win.
The results in Pennsylvania are an especially bad sign for Trump, because incumbents running in good economic conditions traditionally enjoy a large electoral advantage, as Brookings Institute research generally bears out. But that does not appear to be the case for Trump.
"More than half of Pennsylvania voters say they are better off financially than they were in 2016," Quinnipiac polling analyst Mary Snow said, as quoted by The Hill. "But the economy isn't giving Donald Trump an edge in an early read of the very key Keystone State."
One reason for the discrepancy may be Trump's personal unpopularity with American voters. According to the FiveThirtyEight average of all polls, Trump's approval rating remains at historic lows, standing at 42.2 percent nationally as of Wednesday, with a disapproval rating of 53 percent.
Biden would also defeat Trump in a head-to-head national election, according to an average of all polls compiled by ElectionGraphs. Breaking the projected election down on a state-by-state basis, ElectionGraphs currently projects Biden to win 284 Electoral College votes to 254 for Trump.
According to ElectionGraphs analyst Samuel Minter, reporting via his Twitter account, "Biden is doing better than other Dems in my ElectionGraphs averages in 9 out of the 13 states where there have been Biden vs. Trump polls so far."
Though nearly nine months remain before the primary season officially opens with the Iowa caucuses, Biden continues to hold a commanding lead over the Democratic field, which is expected to expand to a record 24 candidates when, as NBC News reports, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announces his candidacy on Thursday.
In an average of all polls compiled by Real Clear Politics, Biden at 39.8 percent continues to hold a massive, 23.5 percent lead over his closest competitor, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, at 16.3 percent.