Poll shows Biden lead in Wisconsin, tight race in North Carolina

Poll shows Biden lead in Wisconsin, tight race in North Carolina
© Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Trump expects to nominate woman to replace Ginsburg next week Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral MORE leads President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE by 10 points in Wisconsin, but the two are running neck and neck in North Carolina in a new CNN poll released Tuesday.

Biden gets the support of 52 percent of likely Wisconsin voters, compared with 42 percent for Trump, while he holds a narrower 49 percent to 46 percent lead among North Carolina likely voters, a difference that falls within the survey’s margin of error.

While the poll reflects other surveys showing a tight race in the Tarheel State, the CNN results put Biden further ahead in Wisconsin than in recent surveys. Trump won both states in 2016 by narrow margins, and his victory by less than 1 point in Wisconsin marked the first time a Republican presidential contender won the Badger State since 1984.

ADVERTISEMENT

The former vice president is aided by Trump’s negative approval rating in the two states. In Wisconsin, 55 percent of adults disapprove of the job he’s doing, while 40 percent approve. Meanwhile, 51 percent of adults in North Carolina disapprove of the job he’s doing, and 43 percent approve.

Likely voters in Wisconsin are more apt to favor Biden over Trump on handling several of the top issues of the presidential campaign. Voters in the state say Biden will better handle the coronavirus pandemic by a 54 percent to 41 percent margin, believe he will better tackle racial inequities by a 55 percent to 38 percent margin, and say he is more likely to unite the country by a 55 percent to 36 percent margin. Voters also say Biden is more likely to have a clear plan to solve the country’s problems and keep the nation safe. 

He and Trump are knotted up over handling the economy, and the president has a 47 percent to 44 percent edge over who has the stamina and sharpness to be president, an issue that's been raised for both septuagenarian candidates.

In North Carolina, Biden still has advantages over handling of the coronavirus, racial unrest and national unity, though Trump has a more solid 7-point edge on the economy and a 6-point lead over stamina and sharpness. Voters are also more evenly divided than in Wisconsin over who will provide safety and answers to the country’s problems. 

Voters in both states ranked the coronavirus as their top issue, followed by the impacts of racism, the economy and the risk of crime.

Biden has doubled down on his message that Trump mishandled the coronavirus pandemic, an argument that was given a recent boost after veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new book revealed Trump admitted he tried to downplay the severity of the outbreak earlier this year. Meanwhile, the president has warned that Biden is beholden to the far-left flank of his party and will exacerbate violent demonstrations across the country, charges the former vice president has rejected.

The CNN polls, which were conducted by SSRS, surveyed 1,006 adults, including 816 likely voters, in Wisconsin from Sept. 9-13. The poll has margins of error of 3.8 percentage points and 4.2 percentage points for the two samples, respectively. In North Carolina, 1,006 adults were surveyed, including 787 likely voters. The margins of error in that state are 3.9 points and 4.4 points, respectively.