POLL: Boosted by Suburban Voters, Biden Opens Up Nine-Point Lead in Battleground Pennsylvania

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the eve of the Nevada Caucus at Hyde Park Middle School in Las Vegas, Nev., February 21, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is leading President Trump by 9 points among likely voters in the must-win battleground state of Pennsylvania, where Biden was born.

About 53 percent of likely voters in Pennsylvania say they would vote for Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris, while 44 percent of likely voters say they would vote for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, according to a recent Marist/NBC News poll.

Half of Pennsylvania voters say they view Biden favorably, while 46 percent say they have a negative view of the former vice president. Meanwhile, only 44 percent of voters in the state say they view Trump favorably, while 54 percent view him negatively, the poll found.

Biden is also benefiting from outsized support among suburban voters, 58 percent of whom say they will vote for him compared to just 39 percent for Trump. That represents a significant departure from the Democratic ticket’s performance among the same demographic in 2016, when Trump outperformed Hillary Clinton among the Keystone state’s suburban voters by an eight-point margin.

More than half, 52 percent, of likely voters in Pennsylvania say they disapprove of the job Trump has done as president, and 45 percent say they approve of his performance in office.

Both candidates have made recent campaign stops in the swing state as they compete for an edge two months out from the general election in November. Biden, who was born in Scranton but left the state as a child, delivered an address in Pittsburgh last week. Trump held a rally in Latrobe on Thursday of last week, and Pence visited Exeter two days earlier.

Both Trump and Biden are planning visits to the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11, marking the 19th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

In 2016, Trump won Pennsylvania by less than 1 percentage point, about 44,000 votes.

“With Trump’s job approval rating and favorability upside down, he needs to reshuffle the deck to close the gap,” said Dr. Lee Miringoff, who directs the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Trump’s best bet is on the economy to do just that.”

The poll surveyed 1,147 U.S. adults by telephone from August 31 to September 7.

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