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Baldwin Wallace Poll Shows Biden Ahead In Great Lakes States, But Not Ohio

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., watch fireworks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20.
Andrew Harnik
/
Associated Press
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., watch fireworks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20.

A new Baldwin Wallace University poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden with a sizable lead over President Donald Trump in three Great Lakes states – but not Ohio.

Trump won Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by less than a percentage point in 2016. But in this latest survey, Biden holds leads of 5-7% in those states.

That’s in contrast to Ohio, where Trump won by 8 points in 2016 and is still in the lead now – by just 2 points.

Ohio polls showed a close race four years ago, and the final result was a surprise for Baldwin Wallace political science professor Tom Sutton, head of the Community Research Institute, which conducted the new poll.

“We do see a solidified position based on whether [voters] live in an urban or rural area. Suburban, of course, is more mixed," Sutton says. "And that’s also where a lot of swing voters tend to move from one candidate to another candidate.”

The poll shows Biden leads in Michigan, 50-43%, in Pennsylvania 50-45%, and in Wisconsin 49-42%. But it's much tighter in Ohio, where Trump leads 47-45%.

Sutton says part of the reason that Ohio skews conservative compared to the other three states is that it’s less diverse and the average age is four years older.

He adds that voters in all four states agreed that Biden won the first presidential debate. But the results were mixed for Trump in other categories.

“Ohioans gave him pretty high approval ratings for how he’s handling the economy – as did the other states," Sutton says. "But much lower ratings for how he’s handling the coronavirus. And then when we asked comparatively – 'Who do you think would do a better job of handling coronavirus [and] bringing the country together?’ – Biden had higher ratings than did Trump.”

Sutton says the majority of voters surveyed in all four states also voiced support for both legalized abortion and the Affordable Care Act.

The Baldwin Wallace poll also found that about 48% of Ohioans planned to vote in person on Election Day, while just under 40% expected to vote by mail or absentee ballot.

More than half of Ohio voters also said they did not think Trump would accept the results of the election and concede if he loses.