Former Vice President Joe Biden maintains a several point advantage over President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, according to a new Franklin & Marshall College poll.
Biden leads Trump by 7 points, 49-to-42, among registered voters, while 3% said that they’d support some other candidate, and 7% said that they aren’t sure how they would vote for the presidency. The analysis from F&M says that there are “far fewer” registered voters in the state who express support for a third-party candidate or who are undecided compared to the August 2016 F&M poll.
41% say that Trump is doing an “excellent” or “good job” as president, while 50% say that Trump is doing a “poor” job, and 9% say he is doing “only a fair job” as president. The 41% job approval rating is a slight uptick from last months’ F&M poll that showed Trump had a 38% job approval rating. However, Trump’s job approval rating is slightly lower than President Barack Obama’s at this same point in his presidency.
When Pennsylvania registered voters were asked about their thoughts on nine specific topics between Biden and Trump, the former VP held the advantage in every single category, excluding the economy.
48% said that Trump is the most prepared to handle the economy, while 44% said that Biden was the most prepared to handle the economy. Biden holds a slight edge over Trump, 47-to-43, on who will better handle the job of commander in chief of the military and also holds a 4 lead advantage, 45-to-41, on who will change government policies that makes your life better.
Biden opens up double digit leads over Trump in the following six topics.
50% said that Biden is the most prepared to handle foreign policy issues, while 39% sided with Trump on the matter. 49% said that Biden has the best plan to handle the coronavirus, while 30% said that Trump had the best plan to handle the virus.
50% said that Biden best understands the concerns of ordinary Americans, while 38% said that Trump was the best candidate to understand the concerns of ordinary Americans. Just over half, 52%, said that Biden has the character and good judgment needed to be president, while one-third, 33%, selected Trump. 49% said that Biden is the most honest and trustworthy choice for president, while 29% said that Trump is the most honest and trustworthy candidate for president. 47% said that Biden’s views on values issues, such as abortion and gay marriage, are closer to their views, while 37% said that Trump’s views on those two issues are closer to their point of view.
Biden and Trump’s favorability ratings remain virtually unchanged from the previous month’s F&M poll.
43% either have a “strongly favorable” or “somewhat favorable” view of Trump, while 56% have an either “strongly unfavorable” or “somewhat unfavorable” view. In July’s F&M poll, 42% said that they had an either “strongly favorable” or “somewhat favorable” view of Trump, while 56% said that they either “strongly unfavorable” or “somewhat unfavorable” view of him.
48% either have a “strongly favorable” or “somewhat favorable” view of Biden, while 49% have an either “strongly unfavorable” or “somewhat unfavorable” view of the former VP. Last month, registered voters in the state were split evenly, 48-to-48, on Biden’s favorability ratings.
One notable change from last month was the uptick Biden received in those who now have a “strongly favorable” view of him in comparison to the previous month. 29% said that they have a “strongly favorable” view of Biden in the August poll, while 22% in July’s poll said that they had a “strongly favorable” view of the former VP. Trump’s “strongly favorable” view remained steady at 29% in both July and August.
COVID-19 remains the most important problem facing Pennsylvania today. 31% said that COVID-19 is the most important problem facing the state today. The only other options that surpassed double digits in this poll was “government, politicians” being selected by 18% of people viewing it as the most important issue facing the state today, followed by 12% selecting “unemployment, personal finances,” and 10% saying the “economy, finances.”
The gap between Biden and Trump shrunk by two points in comparison to the July poll that had Biden with a 9 point lead, 50-to-41, over Trump.
The Real Clear Politics Average shows Biden besting Trump by 5.8 points in Pennsylvania.
This overall poll, surveying 681 Pennsylvania registered voters, collected data between August 17-23, has a margin of error of +/-5.2%.
The full data can be found here.