Well, Monmouth University issued its new Pennsylvania poll today, the one I talked about yesterday, and it’s a doozy.
It looks so good for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, it’s hard to believe.
Maybe that’s why another poll, done by CNBC and Change Research, shows a far tighter race.
The Monmouth poll has Biden way up regardless of turnout levels.
For just registered voters, without screening for likelihood of showing up to vote, Biden leads President Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, by 54% to 42%, a 12-point lead.
If you assume a high likely voter turnout, Biden is up 54% to 43%, an 11-point lead.
If you assume a low likely voter turnout, Biden is up 53% to 45%.
Last month, Biden led 49%-46% among registered voters, 49%-45% in a high likely voter turnout and only 48%-47% in a low likely voter turnout.
If you’ll recall yesterday’s blog post, Monmouth also uses a regional breakdown based on county-by-county margins between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
In counties Trump won by more than 10 percentage points in 2016, the poll shows him up 59% to 37%. It was 58%-37% a month ago. These are 53 counties, including Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne and Pike. The 53 accounted for 40% of the vote four years ago. Trump won them by 64.8% to 31.4%.
Everywhere else, things look way better for Biden than in Monmouth’s Sept. 2 poll.
In counties Clinton won by more than 10 points, Biden leads 77% to 20%, according to the poll. Last month, he led 65%-30%. These counties, which accounted for 34% of the vote, are Allegheny, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia. Clinton won the cumulative vote in them four years ago 66.3% to 30.7%. So he’s doing significantly better in them than Clinton.
In counties Trump or Clinton won by less than 10 points, referred to as swing counties, Biden led 53% to 42%. Last month, Trump narrowly led them, 46%-44%. The swing counties are Berks, Bucks, Centre, Chester, Dauphin, Erie, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton. They accounted for 26% of the vote. Clinton won the cumulative vote in these counties, 48.6%-47.4%.
“If any recent event moved the needle it was more likely last week’s debate than the president’s COVID diagnosis. What seems to be more important than either event, though, is voters’ focus on which candidate they trust more on the issues that keep them up at night,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Monmouth surveyed 500 registered voters between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
The CNBC poll has Biden up only 50% to 46%, the same as a previous poll. Unfortunately, that’s about all the detail the network put out.
A word of caution: CNBC has yet to publicly state its methodology on this poll, always a reason for suspicion.