Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in head-to-head matchups in the crucial battleground states of Michigan and Pennsylvania, according to new Fox polls released Wednesday.
Almost half of registered voters in Michigan (49%) plan to support Biden versus 41% who say they’ll vote for Trump, the polls showed.
And the numbers are relatively similar in Pennsylvania, where Biden leads Trump by 8 percentage points, with 50% of registered voters planning to vote for the former vice president to 42% for Trump, according to the new Fox News polls.
Fox’s last national poll in early April found Trump and Biden even among registered voters.
The higher numbers for Biden come at the same time as the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused multiple states to delay their primaries. However, Biden emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee after all other contenders dropped out following his impressive string of victories in late February and early March.
Another poll from Quinnipiac University in Florida on Wednesday shows Biden barely leading Trump, 46% to 42%, among registered voters in the state. The 4-percentage-point lead is just outside the poll’s margin of error, showing a tight race in the state. Trump receives 45% approval, 51% disapproval in Florida.
Trump’s job approval stands at 47% approval, 51% disapproval in both Pennsylvania and Michigan, according to the Fox polls.
Around half of registered voters in both states say they or someone in their household have lost their jobs or had wages cut due to coronavirus, with 70% in Pennsylvania and 75% in Michigan saying they’re concerned that the coronavirus situation will lead to economic hardship for them.
But while the economy is clearly a concern for all, especially those who have lost income, majorities in both states don’t want to open back up the economy at the risk of public health.
Almost two-thirds (64%) in Pennsylvania and 61% in Michigan report they’d rather wait to reopen the economy, even if it means the economic crisis lasts longer. A quarter in both states think the economy should reopen, even if it means the public health crisis lasts longer.
A slight plurality of Republicans in Michigan would prefer to open the economy at the risk of health (43%), over those who would prefer to stay closed (37%), while Republicans in Pennsylvania are split (42% reopen, 45% keep it closed).
Governors in both states receive high marks overall and for their handling of coronavirus specifically. Around two-thirds of Michigan registered voters approve of how Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is handling her job (63%) and handling coronavirus (64%), while 65% of Pennsylvania registered voters approve of how Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is handling his job overall, and 69% approve of his handling of coronavirus.
Concern about coronavirus is high in the Florida Quinnipiac poll as well, with 72% who think the state should not loosen social distancing rules by the end of April. Another three-quarters think the state should reopen its economy only when it is deemed safe by public health officials and 17% say it should reopen even if public health officials warn against it.
Half of registered voters in Florida approve of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the outbreak and 41% disapprove. Another 6 in 10 think he should have responded to the crisis sooner.
The Fox News polls were conducted April 18 through 21 among a random national sample of 803 registered voters in Pennsylvania and 801 registered voters in Michigan reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for both Michigan and Pennsylvania have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted April 16 through 20 among a random national sample of 1,385 registered voters in Florida reached on landlines or cell phones by a live interviewer. Results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.