Tuesday, September 15, 2020

(More) On Wisconsin!

David Leonhardt looked at the recent New York Times poll of several swing states and had this caution for Biden:

"Perhaps the most surprising finding from the [New York poll] was this: In the four swing states — Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire and Wisconsin — a larger share of voters said “addressing law and order” was a more important campaign issue to them than said “addressing the coronavirus pandemic” was.

On first glance, these law-and-order concerns may still seem to help Biden. More voters trust him to do a better job on several related issues — including violent crime, unifying the country and handling the protests — than trust Trump. But it’s not quite that simple.

Biden’s problem is that, on the broad issues of crime and policing, he appears to have a larger group of soft supporters — people who could flip — than Trump does. As Nate Cohn, a Times reporter who helped oversee the poll, told me, “There is definitely some Biden support with worry about crime.” Those worries span Black, Latino and white voters....

Biden does have potential ways to address these weaknesses. A large share of people say they think he supports defunding the police — a position Biden rejects but one he evidently has not been clear enough about. (The vagueness of “defund the police,” and whether it means abolish or reduce police funding, is part of his challenge.) A majority of poll respondents also said Biden “hasn’t done enough to condemn violent rioting.” Even 27 percent of his own supporters gave that answer.

Every political campaign is a mixture of offense and defense. For Biden, there are obvious ways to go on the offense — about the virus, Biden’s economic agenda, Trump’s inflaming of racism and his incitement of chaos during protests. But the complex swirl of issues around those protests, including violence and the future of policing, also creates some problems for Biden.

He hasn’t yet solved them. That’s one reason that the campaign has not turned into the rout that seemed possible this summer."

On the other hand, the latest CNN poll, has Biden leading by 10 points in the state and finds:

"Biden receiv[es] higher approval ratings than either Trump or Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, for their response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Among likely voters, 48% approve of Biden's response to events in Kenosha, 42% disapprove. For Trump, 42% approve and 54% disapprove, while Evers earns a 42% approve to 47% disapprove rating. There's a racial divide in approval for Trump and Biden on their response to Kenosha. Among Whites in the state, 43% approve of Trump's response, 44% of Biden's."

The most telling statistic for me: Biden only trails Trump by 8 points among white noncollege voters in the states. Trust me: that's a death knell for Trump in the state if he can't bring that margin up in a big way. Solid campaigning by Biden, both on offense and defense, should that very difficult for Trump.



The race for the presidency is near even in North Carolina and Democratic nominee Joe Biden holds a lead over President Donald Trump in Wisconsin, according to new CNN polls conducted by SSRS in the battleground states.

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