Trump tops Biden in six swing states ahead of 2024 election: poll

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Former President Donald Trump is beating President Biden in six of the seven key swing states for the 2024 election, according to a new poll, with voters raising concerns about the 81-year-old incumbent’s mental fitness and his handling of the economy and immigration issues.

A Wall Street Journal survey released Wednesday found Trump, 77, is leading in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia by between one and three percentage points and in North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada by at or more than the poll’s four-point margin of error.

Biden and the former president are also tied in a head-to-head matchup in the blue wall state of Wisconsin, but the Democrat holds a three-point lead when adding in candidates from outside both of the major parties.

With the exception of North Carolina, the states handed Biden his victory over Trump in the 2020 presidential election, driven in large part by a coalition of black, Hispanic and young voters.

Former President Trump is beating President Biden in six of the seven key swing states for the 2024 election, according to a Wall Street Journal poll. Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK

That coalition is flagging in the 2024 poll, with 68% of black voters, 50% of voters under the age of 30 and 48% of Hispanic voters supporting the president for another term.

According to AP VoteCast, Biden in 2020 won Black voters by 91%, Hispanic voters by 63% and voters under 30 by 61%.

The seven battleground states comprise 93 of the 270 electoral college votes needed for either candidate to win in November — and Trump’s lead in the six competitive contests remains even when factoring in third-party and independent candidates. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the only independent candidate registering double-digit support in some of the states, announced Monday that his campaign had qualified for the ballot in North Carolina, while the Green Party has secured a place on 2024 tickets in Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona.

The poll found that one-quarter of voters in the swing states support independent or third-party candidates or remain undecided on their general election candidate.

“Don’t look at these people as excited by third-party candidates,” cautioned Democratic pollster Michael Bocian, who surveyed voters with veteran GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio.

“They are saying, ‘I’m toying with some other options because I don’t like the options I’ve been given,’” Bocian told the Journal, which voters have typically done in polls before deciding on either the Republican or Democratic nominee.

In all seven states surveyed, voters by 16-point margin or more rated Biden’s job performance negatively.

Voters raised concerns about President Biden’s mental fitness, his handling of the economy and his handling of immigration, according to the poll. Getty Images

Meanwhile, Trump showed a negative job performance rating for his first term in office in just one of the states: Arizona.

By the issues, a majority of the voters said Trump was the better candidate to handle the economy and border security, with 54% and 52% backing the former president, respectively.

Just 34% said Biden was the better pick for dealing with the economy, and 32% favored the president on immigration issues.

Notably, an even lower 28% said Biden has the “mental and physical fitness needed to be president.”

A plurality of 48% of voters said Trump had the requisite mental and physical capabilities.

The WSJ poll shows Trump’s lead in six of the seven key swing states. Wall Street Journal

However, Biden is beating Trump over abortion, with 45% of the swing-state voters preferring the president to the 33% who favor the former president on the issue that was relegated to the states after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in 2022.

More than six in 10 voters in the six swing states, four of which have Democratic governors, said that the economy is “not so good” or “poor,” while 57% gave the same rating in Wisconsin.

Similarly, 68% of voters said it was increasingly difficult for the average American to get a leg up in the current economy, whereas 26% described that mobility as “getting easier.”

Almost a majority of them (49%) said their personal finances “were going in the wrong direction,” while 46% rated their finances as headed “in the right direction.”

Overall, 35% of voters said the economy and inflation were the most critical issues determining their 2024 vote — an increase of 16 percentage points since the last Journal survey in February.

Just 25% said the economy has improved in the two years since inflation reached a 40-year high under Biden in 2022, which is a six-point lower rating than the Journal’s nationwide poll found among voters.

The “economic malaise,” said Fabrizio, who began working for the Trump campaign after the poll was finished, describing it as “like a wet blanket that sits over everything” — including Biden’s flagging job performance numbers.

Bocian also told the outlet that the economic indicators were a political liability for the president heading into his re-election bid

“Whether they can take advantage of that opportunity — not make people feel everything’s going great, but better than they’re currently feeling — I think is a big challenge in front of them,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal poll surveyed 4,200 registered voters — 600 in each battleground state — from March 17 to 24, with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points in each state and 1.5 percentage points for the whole sample.




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