Biden gains ground against Trump in 6 key states, new poll shows

WASHINGTON – United States President Joe Biden has gained ground against Republican Donald Trump in six of seven key swing states, and significantly so in at least two of them. The results make for the Democrat’s strongest position yet in a monthly Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll.

The move in the president’s direction comes after five months of mostly consistent Trump leads, and follows a State of the Union address that rallied Democrats and seemed to mitigate concerns about Mr Biden’s age.

The shift was significant in Wisconsin, where Mr Biden leads Trump by one point after trailing him by four points in February, and in Pennsylvania, where the candidates are tied after Trump held a six-point lead in February. They are also tied in Michigan.

It is too soon to know whether the improved showing is a one-time bump or the beginning of a more durable change in the race, and Mr Biden continues to lag the presumptive Republican nominee in four crucial states. But November victories in so-called Blue Wall northern battlegrounds would all but vault Mr Biden to a second term.

Mr Biden’s more upbeat numbers come at an inflection point in a campaign matchup that has seemed predetermined for months.

The president and Trump each clinched their parties’ nominations on March 12, beginning an extraordinarily long general election season.

Trump is currently strapped for campaign cash and holding fewer rallies and events, while Mr Biden has kicked his re-election effort into high gear and is barnstorming the swing states, including a trip to North Carolina on March 26.

The poll also finds consumers feel better about the national economy, with a gradual increase in the number of swing-state voters who say it is on the right track.

The poll of 4,932 registered voters, which has an overall margin of error of 1 percentage point, offers a snapshot of where the candidates stand as they ramp up what is certain to be the most expensive campaign ever.

Speech bump

Mr Biden narrowed or overcame his gap with Trump in many swing states.

While the poll found Mr Biden was most competitive in Blue Wall states, he also chipped away at his February deficit to Trump in Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina. In the seventh state, Georgia, Trump added to his lead. In some cases, the shift was within the margin of error.

Mr Biden is blitzing all of those places with advertising, with 64 per cent of his campaign’s broadcast television dollars spent since August in the Blue Wall states that looked most favourable for him.

Trump still leads across the seven swing states, 47 per cent to 43 per cent.

With third-party candidates included, Trump is ahead with 43 per cent. Mr Biden has 38 per cent, with Mr Robert Kennedy Jr at 9 per cent and Mr Cornel West and Ms Jill Stein each at 1 per cent.

A majority of voters with a favourable opinion of Ms Nikki Haley said they would vote for Trump in a head-to-head matchup in November, suggesting he is picking up many of the supporters of his former primary challenger.

Mr Biden was buoyed by his State of the Union address

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