Poll Finds Economy Not Giving Trump Edge in Pennsylvania, Biden Romps

May 16, 2019 by Dan McCue
Presidential candidate Joe Biden and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garrett visit a King Taco in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Pennsylvania voters say they’re better off financially than they were in 2016, but the strong economy is not helping President Donald Trump in the Keystone State where Democrat Joe Biden leads the incumbent Republican by double digits, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Asked their preference in a head-to-head matchup between Trump and the former vice president, Biden enjoys a 53-42 percent lead, the independent poll released Wednesday found.

University pollsters also found a wide gender gap, with women backing Biden, 60-36 percent, and men backing Trump, 49-45 percent, although that number is well within the poll’s +/- 6.2 percentage point margin of error.  

White voters are about evenly divided between the two candidates, though leaning to Biden, 49-45 percent, but non-White voters are overwhelmingly backing the Democrat, 70-27 percent.

In terms of partisan support, Trump leads Biden 90-7 percent among Republicans, while Biden leads Trump 93-6 percent among Democrats.

Tellingly, however, Biden also enjoys a double-digit, 51-37 percent among independent voters.

The poll also shows Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg with an edge over Trump, though Sanders is the only candidate, at 50-43 percent, with a lead outside of the poll’s margin of error.

The poll found Senator Kamala Harris of California in a statistical dead heat with the president, both garnering the support of 45 percent of the Pennsylvania electorate, while showing Trump ahead of former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, 46-44 percent.

Mary Snow, polling analyst for the Quinnipiac University Poll, said a critical factor in Biden’s strong showing is that whether they back him or not “more than 60 percent believe he has the best chance of defeating Trump in 2020.”

Despite 54 percent of Pennsylvania voters saying they’re better off financially than they were in 2016, and 71 percent saying the state’s economy is “excellent” or “great,” Trump got a failing grade from every group by men.

Over 54 percent of Pennsylvania voters disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president.  Seventy-four percent of non-white voters gave a thumb down to the president’s job performance, as did 49 percent of white voters.

Sixty-two percent of women said they disapprove of the job Trump is doing, but 51 percent of men said they think the president is doing a fine job.

As for the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, Biden leads the field at 39 percent, with Sanders second at 13 percent, Harris and Warren at 8 percent each, Buttigieg at 6 percent and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey at 5 percent.

No other Democratic candidate tops 2 percent.

The survey was conducted by Quinnipiac University May 9-14 and includes input from 978 Pennsylvania voters.

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