09.09.2020 5

Polls tighten in battleground states after President Trump gets big post-convention bump

By Robert Romano

President Donald Trump has received a definite bump in polls following the presidential nominating conventions, including his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination at the White House on Aug. 27.

The latest NBC-Marist poll conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 6 shows President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden tied in Florida, 48 percent to 48 percent.

Trafalgar Group shows Trump leading Biden among likely voters in Florida, 49 percent to 46 percent in a poll conducted Sept. 1 to Sept. 3. That’s a marked improvement from Trafalgar’s poll taken June 29 to July 2, that showed the race tied 46 percent to 46 percent.

CNBC-Change Research had Biden up 6 points in Florida in early August, 50 percent to 44 percent, but by early September, right after the Democratic National Convention and Biden’s Aug. 20 acceptance speech, the lead has narrowed to 49 percent to 46 percent.

Quinnipiac had Biden leading by 13 points in Florida July 16 to July 20, 51 percent to 38 percent, but by Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, the lead in the polls was down to just 3 points: 48 percent to 45 percent.

That’s a lot of volatility, but in each instance, the President’s standing has improved from either being tied or behind, to leading or effectively tied. And that’s just in Florida as a similar story emerges in other battleground states.


In Pennsylvania, Susquehanna had Biden up by 6 points in April, 48 percent to 42 percent. Then the lead was down to 5 points in June, 46 percent to 41 percent. And now, on Aug. 26 to Sept. 4, the lead was just 2 points, 44 percent to 42 percent.

Similarly, Rasmussen Reports had Biden up by 5 points in Pennsylvania in July, 51 percent to 46 percent. And then on Aug. 25 to Aug. 27, the race was tied at 46 percent to 46 percent.

Monmouth had Biden up by 10 points in July in Pennsylvania in July, 52 percent to 42 percent. And now the lead has shrunk to 3 points on Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, 49 percent to 46 percent.

Elsewhere, in Michigan, Trafalgar had Biden up a point 46 percent to 45 percent. On Aug. 14 to Aug. 23, the race had flipped, with Trump leading 47 percent to 45 percent.

And so, just like that — and not unlike 2016 when polls had Hillary Clinton leading by double digits over the summer that turned out to all be wrong — in the post-convention environment, Biden and Trump are in a veritable horse race, neck-in-neck — right on schedule — as the nation rapidly approaches the first debate on Sept. 29.

In 2016, in Florida, polls underreported Trump support by 2 percentage points, in North Carolina by 3.3 points, in Ohio by 5.5 points, in Pennsylvania by 3.5 points and Michigan by 4.1 points.

A good reason why may be because Trump voters are more likely to hide their affiliation. A study from CloudResearch “show a greater reluctance on the part of Republicans, Independents and Trump voters to disclose their opinions.” 10.1 percent of Trump supporters said they were likely to be untruthful on phone surveys versus 5.1 percent of Biden supporters. Meaning, any polls we’re reading might now might need to be handicapped to Trump’s advantage.

Overall, 11.7 percent of Republicans saying they would not report their true opinions about voter preference versus just 5.4 percent of Democrats. 10.5 percent of independents said they might not report their true opinion.

President Trump reacted to the latest polls on Twitter as he began a multi-state swing on the campaign trail in Florida and then North Carolina, writing, “The Real Polls are starting to look GREAT! We will be having an even bigger victory than that of 2016. The Radical Left Anarchists, Agitators, Looters, and just plain Lunatics, will not be happy, but they will behave!”

Meaning, following Biden’s lackluster virtual convention and Trump’s triumphant celebration of his first term in office at the White House last month — plus the ongoing anti-police riots in America’s cities — Biden has definitely lost ground as the President’s reelection bid gains momentum. Stay tuned. This is just getting interesting.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Updated to include early September CNBC-Change Research poll that reflects the post-convention situation.

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