Friday, February 21, 2020

The Michigan-Pennsylvania-Wisconsin Story, According to Quinnipiac

This week, Quinnipiac released polls of the three key swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin--the three states that put Donald Trump in the White House.
So: how'd the Democrats fare in the trial heats? In two the three states, Michigan and Pennsylvania, tested Democrats all beat Trump by varying amounts. In Wisconsin, however, all tested candidates lose to Trump by varying amounts. This is consistent with the general patterns we've seen in other states polls, with Wisconsin being the weakest of these three states for the Democrats.
Looking at the crosstabs Quinnipiac provides for all three polls is instructive, especially the white college and white noncollege tabs. It's highly likely that trends among these two groups will determine the general election outcomes.
For simplicity's sake, I focus on Biden's tabs in the three states (Sanders and Biden perform very similarly against Trump in Michigan and Wisconsin, while Biden has an advantage in Pennsylvania.
Using the States of Change data I can compare the margins in the Q-polls to those among these two groups in 2016. The results are quite interesting.
First, the good news. In Pennsylvania Biden is running ahead of Clinton's performance among both white college (+25 vs. +9 in 2016) and white noncollege voters (-16 vs. -29). In Michigan, the big improvement is among white college voters (+16 vs. -2); the figures for white noncollege are virtually identical (-22 vs. -21).
But in Wisconsin, the bottom drops out. While white college performance for Biden is fine (+14 vs. +15 in 2016), white noncollege shows a sharp drop (-26 vs. -19).
One doesn't have to 100 percent believe the Q-poll figures to see that they provide considerable food for thought.

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