Trump leads Biden in key swing states ahead of U.S. presidential election

Former President Donald Trump holds an edge over President Joe Biden in a series of hypothetical matchups among registered voters in four key swing states, new polling from The New York Times and Siena College shows.

In Nevada, a state Biden narrowly carried in the 2020 presidential election, Trump boasts 52% support to Biden’s 41%. Trump also tops Biden in Georgia, a state that was central to his ploy to overturn the last presidential election, with 49% to Biden’s 43%.

Trump leads Biden in Arizona, too, with 49% to the president’s 44%. In Michigan, Trump holds a 5-point lead as well: 48% to Biden’s 43%.

Each poll has a margin of sampling error between 4.4 and 4.8 points, and the head-to-head matchup remains theoretical — primary voting does not begin until next year. Trump overwhelmingly remains the Republican front-runner, while Biden, who drew a primary challenge from Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips last month, is heavily favored for the Democratic nomination.

The latest battleground state polling underscores the considerable challenges facing Biden’s reelection bid, including low job approval ratings and questions about his age and ability to steer the country. The poll results are especially striking for Biden given Trump’s mounting legal troubles. The former president faces 91 criminal charges across four indictments. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Biden campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz downplayed the polling in a statement Sunday, “Predictions more than a year out tend to look a little different a year later.”

In Pennsylvania, a state Trump won in 2016 but Biden recaptured in 2020, Trump is at 48% to Biden’s 44%, while, Biden takes 47% to Trump’s 45%, well within the survey’s margin of error.

With roughly a year until the general election, these polls, which were conducted by telephone from October 22 to November 3, capture only one snapshot of the electorate as it currently stands. But they show a broad sense of discontent.

Across these six battleground states, registered voters give Biden low job approval marks (38% approve), with just 19% describing the economy as excellent or good. At the same time, only 42% in these states rate Trump favorably, similar to Biden’s 41% favorability rating.

Registered voters in these six states give Trump the edge in trust over Biden to handle the economy, immigration, national security and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but trust Biden more on abortion, with a close split on handling democracy.

Biden is just as low in the White House’s internal polls as in any of the public ones, but his advisers remain confident that he is the Democrats’ best option in 2024. They also believe that the presidential election will be decided on razor-thin margins – and that if Biden loses to Trump, the country will never be the same.

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