Joe Biden leads Trump by 8, tops other Dems in primary
WASHINGTON – After voters chose former President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012, President Donald Trump won Ohio by more than 8% in 2016. But according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, the Democrats might have a chance to take back the swing state, which has voted for the overall winner in every presidential election since 1964.
And the poll says that chance is particularly strong if the Democrats select former Vice President Joe Biden as their nominee.
When asked who they would vote for between Trump and Biden if the presidential election were held today, 52% of Ohio voters polled said Biden and 42% said Trump.
Other leading contenders for the Democratic nomination were either tied or within one point of the incumbent president.
If the nominee was either Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont or Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, 45% said they would vote for the Democrat and 46% said they would go for Trump. If the nominee was Sen. Kamala Harris of California or South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, voters were split with 44% for the Democrat and Trump. And if the nominee was Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, 43% said they would vote for Booker and 44% said they would vote for Trump.
All of those results would fall into the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.2%. It was conducted from July 17-22 from among 1,431 Ohio voters.
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The poll found Trump trailed among independent Ohio voters in all of those hypothetical matchups. Biden held the biggest lead within that group at 23%, followed by Sanders (16%), Buttigieg (15%), Warren (11%), Booker (10%) and Harris (9%).
“Former Vice President Joseph Biden calls himself a blue-collar guy. With Ohio certainly a blue-collar state, it is no surprise he is the Democrat who runs best against President Donald Trump and is solidly ahead in the Democratic primary in the Buckeye State” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Though 58% of Ohio voters said they were better off financially than they were in 2016, only 43% said they approved of how Trump has handled his job as president.
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The poll found that Biden leads the Democratic field ahead of the state’s March 17 primary. Thirty-one percent of Ohio voters said they would vote for Biden, followed by Harris and Sanders at 14%, Warren at 13% and Buttigieg at 6%. The other Democratic candidates had the support of 1% or less of Ohio voters.
A Monmouth University poll released Thursday also showed Biden leading in the South Carolina primary, an early primary state scheduled to hold its election on Feb. 29.
Thirty-nine percent of registered voters in South Carolina said they would vote for Biden if the primary were held today. Harris came in second at 12%, followed by Sanders at 10%, Warren at 9%, Buttigieg at 5%, and Booker and billionaire Tom Steyer at 2%.
Biden had 51% support among black voters, who make up about 6 in 10 of the state’s primary voters, according to Monmouth University.
“South Carolina is the first state on the Democrats’ 2020 calendar with a majority black electorate. Despite some supposed missteps on the issue of race, Biden maintains widespread support with this voting bloc,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
That poll conducted from July 18-22 had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9%.