Poll: Biden leads Trump by 12 points in Pennsylvania

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenState Department revokes visa of Giuliani-linked Ukrainian ally: report Biden says he should not have called Trump a clown in first debate Biden inquired about calling Trump after coronavirus diagnosis MORE leads President TrumpDonald John TrumpState Department revokes visa of Giuliani-linked Ukrainian ally: report White House Gift Shop selling ‘Trump Defeats COVID’ commemorative coin Biden says he should not have called Trump a clown in first debate MORE by 12 points in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania, according to a new poll.

The latest Monmouth University survey found Biden at 54 percent and Trump at 42 percent among all registered voters. Biden led by only 4 points in the same poll last month.

Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray attributed Biden’s gains to the first presidential debate. Biden also leads by 15 points on the question of which candidate understands voters’ day-to-day concerns.

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“If any recent event moved the needle it was more likely last week’s debate than the president’s COVID diagnosis,” Murray said. “What seems to be more important than either event, though, is voters’ focus on which candidate they trust more on the issues that keep them up at night.”

Half of the poll’s interviews were conducted before the president fell ill with the coronavirus. Biden led by 12 points in the interviews conducted before Trump’s diagnosis and by 13 points in the interviews conducted after. 

By a 20 point margin, voters trust Biden more to handle the pandemic. Biden also has a double-digit lead over Trump on health care.

“If anything, the president’s health crisis may be reminding voters about their own vulnerability,” said Murray.

Biden has a small advantage on who would better enforce law and order, one of the president’s signature issues.

Trump has a 5 point advantage on the economy.

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Biden leads Trump by 13 points among seniors, who broke for the president in 2016. He’s also pulled even with Trump among white voters. 

In the 10 swing counties in Pennsylvania where the race was closest in 2016, Biden leads 53 to 42. Trump maintains a 22 point lead in the counties he won easily in 2016, down from his 34 point margin in 2016.

“There appears to be a bump in urban and suburban enthusiasm for Biden,” said Murray. “This could just be a natural drift as we get closer to Election Day, but it could also be prodded along by a backlash against divisive messaging around law and order.”

The Monmouth poll of 500 registered voters in Pennsylvania was conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 and has a 4.4 percentage point margin of error.