Trump Is Winning Over Swing-State Voters Wary of Biden’s Economic Plan

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: Bloomberg
October 19, 2023 at 07:01
  • Voters in seven states trust Trump more on economy, poll shows
  • Suburban women swing-state voters are a bright spot for Biden

Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden in several key swing states as voters reject the economic message that is central to Biden’s reelection bid, according to a poll by Bloomberg News and Morning Consult.

Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, leads Biden 47% to 43% among voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The results across those seven states had a margin of error of 1 percentage point.

Thirteen months before the election, Biden lags the former president in head-to-head matchups in five of the seven swing states, though the gap between the rivals was within the larger margin of error for each individual state. While the two candidates are virtually tied nationally, these states will likely be particularly important in delivering the electoral votes that will decide the next president.

Trump Leads in Five of Seven Swing States

Head-to-head results in battleground state poll

Source: Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll

Note: Poll conducted online of 5,023 registered voters, Oct. 5 through Oct. 10. Margin of error is +/- 1 percentage point.

A 51% majority of swing-state voters said the national economy was better off during the Trump administration, and similar numbers said they would trust Trump over Biden on the economy going forward, 49% to 35%. Among independent voters, the chasm on trust to handle the economy is even wider, with a 22-point advantage for Trump.

Trump was more trusted on several other key issues, including immigration and infrastructure. He also fared better than Biden on US-China relations and the war in Ukraine – matters in the foreign relations arena that is often thought of as Biden’s forte. The attack by Hamas on Israel, which took place partway through the polling period, has made for one of the most challenging moments of Biden’s presidency.

The economic perceptions may prove most consequential: Swing-state voters cited the economy more than any other issue as the most important to them at the ballot box. And on specific pocketbook issues, including the stock market, housing, the cost of everyday goods, interest rates, and taxes, more respondents trusted Trump.

“Right now, Biden is not getting any credit for work he’s done on the economy,” said Caroline Bye, a pollster and vice president at Morning Consult. “Almost twice as many voters in the swing states are saying that Bidenomics is bad for the economy, as opposed to good for the economy, which is a really startling fact if you’re the Biden campaign.”



Net Trump trust advantage on key issues


Source: Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll

Note: Poll conducted online of 5,023 registered voters, Oct. 5 through Oct. 10. Margin of error is +/- 1 percentage point.

Only 26% of voters in the poll said “Bidenomics” has been good for the economy, with 49% saying the policies have been bad. The numbers are even worse among those who said the economy was their most important issue: Those voters disapproved of Biden’s economic policies 65% to 14%.

On infrastructure, Trump has an edge, with swing-state voters preferring his handling of it over Biden’s 42% to 38% — although Biden was the president who passed a sweeping bipartisan infrastructure law.

The tepid assessment of Biden’s economic stewardship comes despite upbeat job market data, including a low unemployment rate and higher wages, and legislative accomplishments, such as laws that will help build semiconductor factories or boost the green economy.

President Biden Delivers Remarks On Bidenomics
President Joe Biden speaks at an economic event at Tioga Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 13.Photographer: Joe Lamberti/Bloomberg

Kevin Munoz, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said it was “hard at work reaching and mobilizing our winning coalition of voters more than one year out.”

“We’ll win in 2024 by putting our heads down and doing the work, not by fretting about a poll,” he said in a statement.

Read More: Bidenomics Brand Faces Hard Sell With Voters in Obamacare Repeat

Some components of Biden’s economic agenda remain popular. Solid majorities of swing-state voters say the federal government should play a major role in reducing the cost of medicine and building infrastructure.

Donald Trump Holds Michigan Campaign Event
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Drake Enterprises in Clinton Township, Michigan, on Sept. 27.Photographer: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg

The seven swing states in the Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll represent 93 electoral votes that could tip the 2024 presidential election. Biden won six of the seven in 2020, losing North Carolina by 1.3 percentage points.

If the states outside this group are held by the same party as in 2020, Trump would need to win at least four of these swing states to win the presidency. Trump also gets a small boost from a shift of three electoral votes from Biden states to Trump states following the 2020 census.

Trump Leads In Key Swing States

Source: Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll

Note: The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percentage point across the seven states; 3 percentage points in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania; and 4 percentage points in Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

One bright spot for Biden in the poll: He is leading among swing-state suburban women by 5 percentage points, even though those same voters say they trust Trump more on the economy by 8 percentage points. But the economy it isn’t their only important issue: Majorities of suburban women in the poll say health care, education, abortion, Social Security and democracy are also crucial considerations in their vote.

In a head-to-head match-up against Trump, voters gave Biden higher marks on that set of issues, as well as on climate change.

Read More: What is Bidenomics? It Depends on Your Point of View

The poll, commissioned by Bloomberg News and conducted by Morning Consult, started the day Cornel West announced he would run for president as an independent, and before Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said he would do the same.

The results suggest third-party candidates could shape the race — particularly in Nevada. Biden is winning the state by 3 percentage points in a head-to-head with Trump, but is losing by 3 points when third parties are included. Both results are within the state’s 4-point margin of error.

Kennedy’s decision to run outside the Democratic Party of his famous family could be a threat to Trump. Just 29% of swing-state Biden voters view Kennedy favorably, compared to 46% of Trump voters. At the same time, West, a progressive activist and academic, makes a favorable impression on 16% of Biden voters and 8% of Trump voters.

A challenge for Trump is that while he’s the most talked-about candidate, often that includes chatter about the 91 criminal counts he faces in federal and state courts, or his dramatic tenure in the White House. This is what voters mentioned to the pollsters when they were asked broad questions about how they viewed Trump — and not all of those sentiments were positive.

“When we dive into what voters are seeing, reading and hearing about Donald Trump, a lot of those open-ended [questions] are about criminal activity,” added Bye of Morning Consult. “That’s something he’s going to have to overcome in 2024.”

The Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll surveyed 5,023 registered voters in seven swing states: 804 registered voters in Arizona, 801 in Georgia, 706 in Michigan, 503 in Nevada, 702 in North Carolina, 807 in Pennsylvania and 700 in Wisconsin. The surveys were conducted online from Oct. 5 to Oct. 10, and the aggregated data across the seven swing states were weighted to approximate a target sample of swing state registered voters based on gender, age, race/ethnicity, marital status, home ownership, 2020 presidential vote and state. State-level data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters in the respective state based on gender, age, race/ethnicity, marital status, home ownership, and 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percentage point across the seven states; 3 percentage points in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania; and 4 percentage points in Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

— With assistance by Raeedah Wahid

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