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Cook Political Report moves Arizona to 'lean Democrat' in Biden-Trump race

The Cook Political Report shifted the presidential race in Arizona toward Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE on Thursday after a new poll showed the former vice president opening up a 5-point lead over President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE in the state.

The election handicapper’s decision to move Arizona from its toss-up column to “lean Democrat” came amid mounting signs that the state is slipping away from Trump despite his narrow 3.5-point win there four years ago. 

A poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Cook Political Report out Thursday showed Biden leading Trump 45-40 percent, giving the Democratic nominee a more substantial advantage than in other battleground states like Florida and North Carolina.

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The poll results track with other recent public surveys. The FiveThirtyEight polling average in Arizona shows Biden with a 4.8-point edge over Trump. 

The KFF-Cook poll carries some troubling signs for Trump’s reelection bid. Republican voters in the state aren’t as firm in their support of Trump as they are in Florida and North Carolina, with only about 73 percent saying they will definitely vote for the president in November. Another 9 percent said they will either probably or definitely cast their ballot for Biden.

Trump’s support among Latinos in Arizona is also lagging. The poll showed him garnering just 17 percent support among those voters to Biden’s 55 percent. In 2016, Trump captured 31 percent of the Latino vote in Arizona. 

Trump’s trouble in Arizona also owes in part to defections by suburban voters in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and its suburbs. Biden now leads there by 6 points, according to the KFF-Cook poll. Trump won the county in 2016 by about 3 points. 

If Biden wins Arizona in November, it would significantly ease his path to 270 electoral votes. He could afford to lose in other battleground states like Wisconsin or Michigan and still capture the White House, as long as he carries the other states that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Monica Lewinsky responds to viral HBO intern's mistake: 'It gets better' Virginia governor's race poses crucial test for GOP MORE captured in 2016.

The KFF-Cook poll surveyed 1,298 registered voters in Arizona Aug. 29-Sept. 13. It has a margin of sampling error of 3 percentage points.