Donald Trump leads Joe Biden in five key battleground states, new polls show


Donald Trump leads Joe Biden in five crucial battleground states less than six months out from election day, new polls showed.

The surveys from the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Siena College put the former president up in Pennsylvania (three points), Arizona (seven), Michigan (seven), Georgia (10) and Nevada (12). Biden led by two points in Wisconsin.

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All leads bar Trump’s in Georgia and Nevada were within the margin of error.

As the poll resonated throughout the political scene, the Biden campaign issued a statement from Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster.

“The only consistency in recent public polls is inconsistency,” Garin said.

“These results need to be weighed against the 30-plus polls that show Biden up and gaining – which is exactly why drawing broad conclusions about the race based on results from one poll is a mistake.”

Trump is currently on trial in New York City, on 34 criminal charges arising from hush-money payments to an adult film star who claimed an affair.

That is effectively an election interference trial. The former president also faces four federal charges and 10 state charges, in Georgia, for attempted election subversion and 40 federal charges concerning his retention of classified information.

Trump’s attempt to overturn Biden’s conclusive win in 2020 culminated in the deadly attack on Congress on 6 January 2021, by a mob he told to “fight like hell” in his cause.

Nine deaths have been linked to the riot including law enforcement suicides and more than 1,200 people have been arrested, hundreds convicted and jailed, some for seditious conspiracy.

And yet, amid much electorate concern that at 81 Biden is too old for a second term – though Trump is just four years younger – the Times said “a yearning for change and discontent over the economy and the war in Gaza among young, Black and Hispanic voters threaten to unravel the president’s Democratic coalition”.

The polls showed 20% support for Trump among Black voters, which if it held in the election would be the highest level of such support for a Republican candidate since the civil rights era.

There was better news for Biden in results culled from people who described themselves as likely to vote, with the current president leading in Michigan and narrowly behind in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Victories in those three states in November would likely be enough to keep Biden in the White House.

Robert F Kennedy Jr, the third-party candidate seeking ballot access in all 50 states even while having said he once had a worm in his brain linked to cognitive problems, scored around 10% in the polls, drawing equally from both Trump and Biden.

“The findings are mostly unchanged since the last series of Times/Siena polls in battleground states in November,” the Times said, listing factors that might be seen likely to aid Biden: the stock market gaining 25%, Trump’s criminal trials beginning and Biden’s campaign spending heavily in battleground states.

But voters who spoke to the paper cited cost-of-living concerns and dissatisfaction with the social and political status quo as reasons to abandon Biden for Trump.

Related: Who is running for president in 2024? Biden, Trump and the full list of candidates

Remarkably, the paper reported that “nearly 70% of voters say that the country’s political and economic systems need major changes – or even to be torn down entirely”.

Abortion rights also looms as a key campaign issue.

Trump has boasted of his role in appointing three rightwingers to the US supreme court, resulting in the removal of federal abortion rights in 2022 with the overturning of Roe v Wade, the ruling that guaranteed them.

Democrats have focused on the issue, taking a string of wins when abortion rights have been on the ballot, even in Republican-run states.

In the new polls, a familiar majority (64%) said abortion should be always or mostly legal (a stance shared by 44% of Trump voters). The polls also showed voters prefer Biden to handle abortion rights issues by 11 points.

But nearly 20% of respondents blamed Biden more than Trump for the fall of Roe.

Garin said: “The reality is that many voters are not paying close attention to the election and have not started making up their minds – a dynamic also reflected in today’s poll. These voters will decide this election and only the Biden campaign is doing the work to win them over.”



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