A new Monmouth University poll out today shows Joe Biden comfortably ahead of Donald Trump by 53-40 in Pennsylvania. Biden has a 21 point lead among independents and leads in almost every age group, including those over 65.
But if you ask voters who they think is going to win the state of Pennsylvania, it’s a different story.
Most registered voters (54%) say they were surprised in 2016 when Trump ended up winning Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. They are evenly divided on whether they expect Trump (46%) or Biden (45%) to win the commonwealth this time around. One reason for this seems to be that most voters (57%) believe there are a number of so-called secret voters in their communities who support Trump but won’t tell anyone about it. Less than half that number (27%) believe there are secret voters for Biden. The suspicion that a secret Trump vote exists is slightly higher in swing counties (62%) and Clinton counties (61%) than in Trump counties (51%). The belief in a secret Biden vote is somewhat more prevalent in Trump counties (32%) than Clinton counties (23%) and swing counties (23%).
The poll isn’t misleading as much as one might believe. Trump might have Biden right where he wants him.
Comparing the current results to a Monmouth University Poll taken in August 2016, Biden’s likely voter position is similar to Clinton’s summer standing in the swing counties, where she led Trump by 50% to 40%. Interestingly, Trump is doing slightly better now in core Clinton counties than four years ago, when he was polling at 21% to 67% for Clinton. Biden, however, is currently stronger than Clinton was in the president’s base counties, where she was polling at 27% to 60% for Trump.
Four months is a long time in politics, especially today when a single event or issue can flip the script and put Trump right back in it. There is also the radical factor that few pollsters are even looking at. Biden is seen as “extreme” by many voters but Trump has not taken advantage of that yet.
Americans don’t vote for extremists or radicals and if Trump can tie Biden to Black Lives Matter, AOC, and Bernie Sanders — all well known left-wing kooks — those numbers in Pennsylvania will begin to look a lot better for Trump.
Highlighting Biden’s policies would help in identifying him as far out of the mainstream. His $2 trillion “investment” in green energy over a 4 year period would shatter the budget and raise energy prices to unbearable levels. That is truly a scary, radical idea.
Despite reading every day that the race is over, that Biden should be working on his transition, this election is far from over. Democratic overconfidence might do them in again.