A new Emerson College Polling survey of Pennsylvania voters gave former President Donald Trump a solid 45 to 36 percent lead over incumbent Democrat Joe Biden. It was a stunning development in a state viewed as a must-win for Democrats for Biden to remain in the White House.
The poll, released Wednesday, also gave incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey an 8-point lead over likely GOP challenger Dave McCormick.
Pennsylvania was part of the Democrats’ “Blue Wall” of Midwestern and blue-collar states Donald Trump flipped in his upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. If Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination and can return states like Georgia and Arizona to the GOP, along with Pennsylvania, he could win another term in 2024.
Not surprisingly, the Trump campaign was thrilled with the new poll.
“President Trump has established himself as the champion of higher wages, lower inflation, and cheaper gas,” senior Trump advisor Jason Miller told DVJournal. “Joe Biden has made everyone’s life more expensive. I’m surprised it’s this close, even in a traditional ‘blue’ state!”
Democrats, in general, did not fare well in the poll. Biden’s approval rating was twenty points underwater at a dismal 31 percent approve and 51 percent disapprove.
And while previous polls have shown Gov. Josh Shapiro doing well, his approval in the Emerson College poll was just 35 percent approve, while 27 percent disapproved. A plurality of Pennsylvanians were neutral about Shapiro’s job performance.
Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson College Polling, told DVJournal Trump continues to have appeal among voters who were once part of the Democratic Party’s base in Pennsylvania.
“A key takeaway from our most recent Pennsylvania survey is how Trump has been able to win over traditional Democratic voters, including those whose highest level of education is a high school degree or less,” Kimball said. “Trump leads Biden 53 to 27 percent among this group, while Casey competes much more than Biden with these voters, and leads 36 to 33 percent over McCormick.”
The poll also revealed part of the reason why the Democratic Party has done so well in the affluent, educated Philadelphia suburbs recently.
“Biden is able to maintain a similar lead as Casey with voters with postgraduate degrees, leading Trump 50 to 25 percent. Similarly, Casey also leads McCormick among this group, 55 to 26 percent,” Kimball said.