President Trump faces a fall in polling numbers in key battleground states. Recent polling shows the president lost ground in five out of six swing states, namely Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, and Arizona.
In North Carolina, another swing state, Trump and Biden are level.
States that Trump is expected to carry in November such as Ohio, Iowa and Georgia are also in contention for the Democratic nominee.
The shift in numbers in April largely correlates to shifting numbers amongst older voters.
Older Voters Unhappy With Restless Trump
In 2016, Trump performed better than Clinton amongst voters over 65, beating Clinton 52-45. Since older voters are much more likely to go and vote, shifts in this demographic play a big role in changing the poll numbers.
Trump has lost ground thanks to the same voters.
Older voters are much more likely to value safety over economic needs during a pandemic. Unlike Trump, older voters do not want to rush reopening the country. President Trump’s repeated insistence on expediting the reopening and even supporting protesters dissenting against increased lockdowns is not sitting well with voters over 65.
Biden, who rose to the nomination due to his popularity with older voters, is performing well with them. According to a poll by NBC and The Wall Street Journal, Biden leads the president amongst older voters by nine points.
Older voters and working-class white men form a large part of Trump’s base. However, while older voters want to be cautious about the lockdown, middle-aged working-class men who cannot work remotely want to get back to work. Pleasing both these factions is not easy for Trump and he needs both to win the election in November.
White Working Class Women Leaving the President
White working-class women, another key pillar of the Trump coalition, are also a key reason behind him falling in the polls.
Trump defeated Clinton amongst white working-class women by 27 points. However, his popularity in this demographic is moving. Like older voters, women are also more likely to prioritize matters of health compared to men. White working-class women already showed signs of breaking away from the Trump coalition in the 2018 midterms.
It will be interesting to see how the sexual assault allegations Biden faces will impact his numbers.
Even though the president is down, he is not in unfamiliar territory. In 2016, he overcame Hillary Clinton while facing worse odds. His latest approval rating at 49% is also relatively good. This is at a time he is handling the country through its worst crisis since WWII. There is still a lot of time for the president to gain ground between now and November. The Democrats will only hope Biden can maintain this gap.
(Image Credit – The White House and Gage Skidmore)