Top-Rated Poll Shows Biden with 10% Lead in Wisconsin and 8% Lead in Michigan

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The NYT/Siena Poll, rated A+ by 538, has Joe Biden with a 48% to 40% lead in Michigan and a 51% to 41% lead in Wisconsin. The polls are of likely voters and were taken October 8-11.

New polls show Biden is gaining in the Northern battlegrounds among white voters

Four years ago, Mr. Trump’s strength among white voters without a college degree helped him breach the so-called blue wall of traditionally Democratic Northern battleground states, including Michigan and Wisconsin. The new surveys show him well short of matching 2016 levels of support among white voters, leaving the president with a daunting deficit with just three weeks until the election.

Over all, Mr. Biden leads by eight points among white voters in Wisconsin and trails by just one percentage point among white voters in Michigan.

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The NYT/Upshot analysis of this poll corresponds to an analysis of 5556 voters they did in six northern states: Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The voters surveyed in these six states overall backed Trump by +3% four years ago but now support Biden by +6%.

Although these switchers are only 4% of voters, they have a great impact since they each subtract one vote from Trump and add one to the Democratic candidate.

Biden is also doing well in these states among those who say they voted for a minor party candidate in 2016. Among Jill Stein’s voters in 2016, 59% say they will vote for Biden and only 9% will vote for Trump. And with those who voted Libertarian in 2016, 38% will now vote for Biden while only 14% will vote Trump. Of course, some of these voters will continue to support a minor party or will not vote.

In addition, Biden is leading by 14% among those who did not vote in 2016 but say they will this year. This includes those voters too young to vote for years ago and those who chose not to vote. The Upshot says Biden would have a 7% lead in these six states if they all actually vote.

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According to Michael McDonald, US Election Project, Michigan voters have return nearly a million absentee ballots so far, about 19.8% of the entire 2020 presidential vote in that state. Wisconsin voters are doing even better having returned 680,000 votes or 22.8% of the 2016 total.