Former Vice President Joe Biden has opened up leads in both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The two are considered “battleground” states whose electoral votes could make the difference in the November election, according to a new CBS News/Battleground Tracker poll.
In Pennsylvania, Biden leads by six points, 49 percent to 43 percent. In Wisconsin, the presumptive Democratic nominee leads 48 percent to 42 percent.
Voters in both states point to the coronavirus pandemic as the factor in favoring Biden over Trump. Specifically, 75 percent of poll respondents in Pennsylvania and 76 percent in Wisconsin said they believe things in the U.S are going badly amid the pandemic and economic turmoil.
In both states, 47 percent of voters said the former vice president would better handle the coronavirus crisis. In Pennsylvania, only 37 percent said they believed Trump would do better than Biden at managing the pandemic, while in Wisconsin, 32 percent said Trump would do better, according to The Hill.
Another topic that poll respondents were asked about was Trump’s general demeanor. About two-thirds of respondents in both states said they dislike how the president “handles himself personally.” Similarly among voters in both states, 44 percent say that Biden understands their “needs and concerns” better than Trump does, while 37 percent gave Trump the edge on that question.
Biden is expected to announce his running mate this week. Among poll respondents who said they’re likely to vote for Biden, his choice for a vice president isn’t likely to sway them one way or the other, according to Politico. In Pennsylvania, 62 percent said Biden’s selection was “not very important” or “not at all important,” while 56 percent in Wisconsin said the same.
When it comes to the one topic the president has consistently had the upper hand in polling during this election cycle — the economy — the gap seems to be narrowing, at least in these two states. In Wisconsin, 43 percent of voters gave Biden the edge on handling the economy, while 47 percent gave it to Trump. In Pennsylvania, 45 percent favored Biden on this topic, while 46 percent favored Trump.
Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes, and Wisconsin, with its 10, could make the difference in deciding who will win the election. Both states played a role in electing Donald Trump in 2016, when the combined 30 electoral votes in the two went unexpectedly to Trump. He had been trailing Hillary Clinton by one percentage point, but secured the victory thanks to voters who decided at the last minute, according to CBS News.