While several recently released polls have indicated that the race is tightening in Pennsylvania, the latest Quinnipiac University poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden still maintains a several point advantage over President Donald Trump in the state.
Biden leads Trump by 8 points, 52-to-44, among likely voters in the Keystone State. This is the first Quinnipiac poll of Pennsylvania likely voters in 2020, so these specific results cannot be compared to an earlier survey this year from this pollster.
According to the analysts at FiveThirtyEight, Quinnipiac University favors Democrats by an average of 0.2% and has an overall B+ grade.
— Quinnipiac University Poll (@QuinnipiacPoll) September 3, 2020
Pennsylvania likely voters have mixed views about Biden, while Trump’s favorability and job approval rating are both underwater.
46% have a favorable opinion of Biden, while 45% have an unfavorable view of the former VP. 41% have a favorable opinion of Trump, while 55% have an unfavorable opinion of him. Trump’s job approval rating is only slightly better than his favorability rating. 43% said that they approve of Trump’s job performance as president, while 54% said that they disapprove.
However, Trump has a positive approval rating for his handling on the economy and more voters trust him on this issue over Biden. 52% said that they approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while 46% disapprove. 52% said that Trump would do a better job handling the economy, while 45% said that Biden would do a better job handling this matter.
Outside of the economy, Biden has the edge on four other specific issues polled. Biden’s largest advantage over Trump is on which candidate would do a better job handling racial inequality with 57% saying Biden, while 38% selecting Trump. Biden leads Trump by 13 points, 54-to-41, on which candidate would do a better job handling the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Biden holds a 12 point advantage over Trump, 54-to-42, on who would do a better job handling health care. Biden leads Trump by 8 points, 52-to-44, on which candidate would do a better job handling a crisis.
The polling also indicates that Democrats and Republicans are divided on which are the most important issues in deciding who to vote for in the presidential election. 50% of Republicans said that the economy is their top issue, while 28% selected law and order as their top issue. 29% of Democrats named the coronavirus as their top issue, while 25% said racial inequality. 30% of Independents said that the economy was their top issue, followed by 15% that said law and order, and 14% who named the coronavirus as their top issue in deciding who to vote for in the presidential race.
Overall, the economy was selected as the top issue polled over several options. 29% of likely voters named the economy as the most important issue deciding who to vote for in the presidential race, while 16% said coronavirus, 15% said law and order, and 13% said racial inequality.
This poll provides some welcoming news for Biden in comparison to some other recent polls that have showed the race his lead dwindling in the state. A Monmouth University poll of registered voters and Morning Consult poll of likely voters released this week both showed Biden leading Trump by 4 points, 49-to-45, in the state. A Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll of likely voters released last week also showed Biden leading Trump by 4 points, 48-to-44, although a Franklin & Marshall College poll of registered voters released last week was in more in step with these results by showing the former VP leading the president by 7 points, 49-to-42, in Pennsylvania.
The Real Clear Politics Average shows Biden besting Trump by 4.2 points in Pennsylvania.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,107 Pennsylvania likely voters from Aug. 28 to Sep. 1. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3%.
The full crosstabs for the Quinnipiac University Poll can be found here.