Battleground poll shows public perception of Trump’s coronavirus, protest responses helping Biden’s lead in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. — A poll out Monday from the University of Wisconsin’s Election Research Center shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump.

The research center director made things clear off the bat: this is a snapshot of how people are feeling about the race right now, not a prediction for November. However the way respondents feel now in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan shows Biden may have a leg up through perceived failures of Trump.

Among younger respondents (those between 18 and 29 years old), in women and for non-whites, Biden is leading, and in other areas it’s close. Overall, Biden leads Trump in Wisconsin 49% to 43%, with a 4.8% margin of error.

“We do know from the survey that the public is generally down on Trump,” said Barry Burden, the research center’s director. “… Basically on the major issues of the day, Trump is not faring well and will need to change perceptions of the public if he’s going to win.”

Trump will also need to improve among white voters, with them being closely split between Trump (47%) and Biden (45%).

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The Trump campaign dismissed the results of the poll, saying people are still excited to vote for him.

“Polls right now are about as valuable as a President Hillary Clinton coffee mug,” said spokesperson Anna Kelly. “The fact is, enthusiasm for President Trump is strong.”

Biden’s team said the choice is clear for voters.

“As Wisconsin continues to break coronavirus case records and too many continue to suffer the loss of a job or a loved one, the choice between Donald Trump’s failed leadership and Joe Biden’s unifying vision for the country could not be more clear,” said spokesperson Nate Evans.

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The results Monday are similar to other recent polls.

CBS News over the weekend had Biden over Trump 48% to 42% , with a 3.8% margin of error.

Progressive-leaning Focus on Rural America showed 51% of rural Wisconsin voters picking Biden over 39% for Trump.

Burden said for Biden to keep his lead, he’ll need to keep focus on what the public thinks Trump is doing wrong, and Trump will need to focus on issues, such as the economy, immigration and judicial appointments.

“Offer himself as a sane, sensible, return to normal politics and someone with kind of a sure hand,” Burden said of Biden. “Trump’s task I think is to remind people of the things that attracted them to him in the first place four years ago.”

One concern many Americans have watching polls in this election is that many felt misled by polls in 2016, some which showed Clinton easily winning.

Burden said a lot has changed this year, including that in 2016 state and national polls disagreed, and this year state polls and national polls in agreement over Biden’s lead.