The Hill's Campaign Report: Presidential polls tighten weeks out from Election Day

The Hill's Campaign Report: Presidential polls tighten weeks out from Election Day
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Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:




A lot of polling data to sift through, with good and bad for President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE...

Biden leads by 10 points nationally in new surveys released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University and Marquette University

Two big issues heading into the home stretch will be the economy and the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the Marquette poll, 51 percent approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, but only 38 percent approve of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The president has a narrow advantage over Biden on the economy in the Quinnipiac poll, 49 to 48. Biden leads by 16 points on who would be better suited to manage the pandemic.


About half of voters say they plan to vote in-person on Election Day, compared to about one-third who plan to vote by mail or absentee ballot. Fifteen percent say they’ll vote early at a polling place.

Among voters who say they’ll vote in-person on Election Day, 57 percent support Trump.

Biden has about two-thirds support among mail and absentee voters and those who say they’ll cast a ballot early at a polling place.

The picture is murkier in the battlegrounds...

Biden has a net 4-point advantage across the six core battleground states of Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, according to new data from CNBC and Change Research

Drilling down into each state — Biden leads by 9 points in Wisconsin; 8 points in Michigan; 6 points in Arizona; 4 points in Pennsylvania; 3 points in Florida; and 2 points in North Carolina.

But an ABC News-Washington Post survey found Trump with small advantages in Arizona and Florida. 

Among likely voters, Trump leads Biden by 1 point in Arizona, where the poll found the president with a 15 point advantage on the economy. Biden has only a 4-point advantage on who would better manage the coronavirus.

The survey found Trump leading Biden by 1 point in Florida, where Biden lags Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation MORE’s advantage with Hispanics in 2016 by about 10 points. 

Finally, a new Monmouth University survey finds Trump with a 1-point lead in Georgia, which has not gone for the Democratic nominee since 1992.

The bottom line: Polls generally show Trump running about even with Biden in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina. If Trump holds on to all three, and doesn’t fumble away Ohio, Iowa or Georgia, Biden would need to win all three of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Biden leads in all three of the former “blue wall” states right now, but Democrats would like a little more breathing room than that.



Biden said on Wednesday that he’d give additional powers to the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice and even bring the division into the White House fold. 

“I’d make sure there’s a combination of the Civil Rights Division having more direct authority inside the Justice Department and be able to investigate, than in fact it has now,” Biden said, speaking at an economic summit for Black businesspeople in Charlotte, N.C.

Jonathan has more here.




Mark Kelly said on Wednesday that the winner of Arizona’s closely contested Senate race should be sworn in as soon as possible after the election. The former astronaut and Democratic Senate candidate is running in a special election against Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up GOP group launches million ad campaign pressing Kelly on filibuster MORE (R-Ariz.). That means that, if he wins, he could be sworn into office as early as Nov. 30, taking a key Senate vote away from Republicans as they prepare to confirm Trump’s eventual nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgTo infinity and beyond: What will it take to create a diverse and representative judiciary? Justice Ginsburg's parting gift? Court's ruling on Texas law doesn't threaten Roe — but Democrats' overreaction might MORE on the Supreme Court. 

For now, Republicans are planning to hold a vote on the eventual nominee before the Nov. 3 election. But if the process gets pushed back until after the election, Kelly could end up playing a critical role. Here’s what he told ABC’s “The View”:

"Regardless of who wins, once the vote is certified here in Arizona, in accordance with the law, that person should be promptly seated to work for Arizonans. We have incredibly challenging issues we’re facing here, and I think Arizona’s ready for some independent leadership. They're concerned about health care, pre-existing conditions. They're concerned about protecting Social Security and Medicare. So in accordance with the law, when the election is done, I think it's important that if I was to win that I get sworn."

The Hill’s Rebecca Klar has more here.