Post-debate poll finds Biden with leads in two key states

Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Senate approves two energy regulators, completing panel Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race MORE leads President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE by sizable margins among voters in Pennsylvania and Florida following Tuesday night’s combative presidential debate, according to a New York Times-Siena College poll published Saturday.

The survey found that Biden leads Trump in Pennsylvania by 7 percentage points, garnering 49 percent support among respondents in the state, compared to Trump’s 42 percent. Biden leads Trump in Florida by a slightly smaller margin, 47 percent support to 42 percent.  

Survey interviews began Wednesday prior to the announcement early Friday morning that the president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Biden unveils batch of his White House team Melania Trump unveils White House Christmas decorations USAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 MORE tested positive for COVID-19.


There was a modest shift in favor of Biden during survey interviews conducted on Friday following the news of Trump’s diagnosis, according to the Times. 

The races in the two battleground states, both of which Trump won narrowly in the 2016 election, had been particularly close prior to Tuesday’s debate, although an ABC-Washington Post poll released Tuesday showed Biden ahead by 9 percentage points in Pennsylvania. 

Last week, RealClearPolitics reported that Biden had a 1.3-point lead in Florida, down from 8.4 percentage points in July. 

The Times-Siena College poll also found that only 21 percent of likely voters across the two swing states said Trump won the debate Tuesday, with 65 percent disapproving of the president’s conduct throughout the evening.

An additional 48 percent said they “support Trump less after” the debate. 


Many Democrats and others criticized Trump's behavior during Tuesday’s debate, during which he repeatedly interrupted Biden and moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBiden adviser: 'He does not have any concern' about Trump lawsuits Public health expert: Americans no longer acting 'with common purpose' on pandemic Anti-Defamation League criticizes White House appointee 'who has consorted with racists' MORE. The Commission on Presidential Debates has since announced it is considering changes to future debate formats “to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.”

A Hill-HarrisX poll conducted after this week's presidential debate but before Trump announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus found Biden leading Trump nationally by 7 percentage points, a 2-point increase from the last poll conducted Sept. 19-21.

Among those in the Hill-HarrisX poll who watched the debate, 56 percent said that Biden performed better compared to 43 percent who said the same for Trump.

The New York Times-Siena College Research Institute survey of Pennsylvania and Florida was conducted via landline and cellular telephones over varying field periods from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. 

The margin of error due to sampling on the full survey was plus or minus 4.2 percentage points in Florida, and 4.1 percentage points in Pennsylvania, according to the newspaper.