Poll: Trump Makes Gains in Battleground States as Concern over COVID Diminishes

President Donald Trump speaks at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., August 24, 2020. (Jessica Koscielniak/Reuters)

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has risen in six swing states over the last two weeks as voter concerns about the coronavirus have waned, a new poll shows.

While the boost still leaves Trump trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden — Biden is leading Trump 49 percent to 46 percent across the six states — a new CNBC/Change Research poll shows that 48 percent of voters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin approve of the job Trump is doing and 52 percent disapprove, an improvement for the president over the 46 percent who approved and 54 percent who disapproved two weeks prior. 

Sixty-six percent of likely voters in the states said they have serious concerns about the coronavirus, down three percentage points from a poll taken two weeks ago. Additionally, while 49 percent of respondents said they had “very serious” concerns about the coronavirus in that previous poll, that number has dropped to 45 percent.

The president’s COVID approval rating rose to 47 percent, the highest since mid-May and an increase of three percentage points this month. The news comes as new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have steadily fallen in the U.S. after many states were forced to pause or roll back their reopenings as cases spiked this summer.

The U.S. has had more coronavirus cases, more than 5.7 million, and more deaths — at least 178,000 — than any other country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The poll found that swing state voters, by a 51 percent to 49 percent margin, think Biden and Democrats would handle the coronavirus more capably than Trump and Republicans.

The CNBC/Change Research poll surveyed 4,904 people across the six battleground states from Friday through Sunday. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points.

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