What’s Got Trump Doing Better in the Swing States?

President Donald Trump in Pittsburgh, Pa., October 23, 2019 (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Maybe it’s impeachment, or maybe it’s just that we don’t get head-to-head swing state polling that often, but Trump is looking a little better when voters are asked if they’re leaning towards the incumbent or one of the Democratic challengers. OH Predictive Insights puts Trump ahead of all challengers in Arizona, although by only 2 points ahead of Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. Firehouse Strategies — a GOP firm, so take as many grains of salt as you deem necessary — finds Trump has the lead in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in hypothetical match-ups against former vice president Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Emerson had Trump narrowly ahead of Elizabeth Warren in New Hampshire, and now Emerson sees movement in the head-to-head matchups in Iowa, a state Trump won by 10 points in 2016:

Trump leads all potential Democratic opponents in head to head matchups in Iowa. The President leads Buttigieg by a point 46 percent to 45 percent. Against Biden, he leads 49 percent to 45 percent, and against Sanders and Warren he leads 50 percent to 43 percent. This is a shift from the previous Emerson Iowa poll, in which Sanders lead Trump by a point, and Biden and Warren trailed Trump by two points.

You can put in all the appropriate caveats — there’s still a lot of race to run, these leads aren’t very big, and some aren’t outside the margin of error, and so on. But for much of the past year, Democrats looked at the big swing in the 2018 House races and Trump’s low approval ratings and figured they would have the wind at their back in 2020. Eh, maybe not.

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