Joe Biden now has a 12-point lead over President Trump in Pennsylvania, according to a Monmouth University poll out Tuesday, which also found that a majority of voters in the battleground state think Biden better understands their daily concerns.
Why it matters: It's more bad news for Trump, whose re-election efforts have hinged on winning Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes. Biden's current lead is a significant improvement from his 4-point lead in last month's Monmouth poll.
- Biden is visiting Pennsylvania today, with plans to give remarks in Gettysburg later this afternoon.
- Last week, Biden hosted a whistle-stop Amtrak tour through the state highlighting his "Build Back Better" economic recovery plan.
By the numbers: 54% of registered voters in Pennsylvania support Biden, compared to 42% who are backing President Trump.
- 60% of voters think Biden at least somewhat understands their day-to-day concerns.
- There was little movement before and after Trump's announcement that he tested positive for COVID-19, the poll found. Voters still trust Biden more when it comes to handling the pandemic and health care.
- And while Trump continues to lead Biden on the economy, slightly more voters now say they believe Biden will strengthen the economy and create jobs (41%, up from 37% before Friday).
Between the lines: Monmouth's poll found Biden with a slight advantage on which candidate voters feel better handles "law and order" — 45% to Trump's 41%.
- Previously, Trump campaign officials felt hopeful that the president's "law and order" rhetoric was helping in Pennsylvania, specifically — aides thought — with the state's white, working-class voters.
Be smart: A decisive Biden win in Pennsylvania would likely help Democrats avoid major post-election litigation, Axios' Stef Kight writes:
- Pennsylvania is already at the center of election-related legal battles since it could decide the election and has had very little experience with mass vote-by-mail. (Just 4% of ballots were cast by mail in 2018.)
- In order for there to be meaningful lawsuits over ballot counts after the election, there either has to be a massive election failure (like a cyber attack) or it has to be a razor-thin election — within a few thousand ballots, elections experts say.
- There’s less incentive for suing over whether or not to count certain ballots if it won’t change the outcome.
Methodology: The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, 2020 with a statewide random sample of 500 Pennsylvania voters drawn from a list of registered voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.
Go deeper: Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania