If 2024 is a re-run of 2020, who will carry Pennsylvania? According to the latest poll, the Keystone State is too close to call.
In a theoretical general election match-up, a new Quinnipiac University poll of 1,584 Pennsylvania registered voters has former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden in a virtual dead heat.
That poll, released Wednesday, had 47 percent supporting Trump and 46 percent for Biden. Both Republicans (89-7 percent) and independents (51-37) favor Trump, while Democrats remained strongly with Biden (94-4).
“Though battling fierce legal headwinds, Trump leaves the rest of the GOP pack (including Ron DeSantis) looking like ‘also rans’ and is running neck and neck with President Biden,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.
Pennsylvania is known to be a swing state, and voters here supported Trump in 2016. But Biden narrowly carried the commonwealth in 2020 by just 1.2 percent.
In a GOP primary, however, Trump enjoys a big lead over the rest of the field. Quinnipiac has Trump garnering 49 percent support among GOP primary voters, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 25 percent. Trailing in single digits are former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Vice President Mike Pence with 5 percent each. Nikki Haley, the former U.N. ambassador and former South Carolina governor, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) each had 4 percent. Other candidates came in at 1 percent or lower.
Among Democratic primary voters, Biden enjoyed 71 percent support. Environmental lawyer Robert Kennedy Jr. has 17 percent, and author Marianne Williamson came in at 5 percent.
Many Pennsylvania voters say they are closely following Trump’s legal challenges.
On the Justice Department’s filing of criminal charges against Trump regarding classified documents found in his Mar-a-Lago estate, 44 percent said they follow reports on that issue very closely. Another 38 percent said they are following it somewhat closely, while 17 percent said they are not following it too closely.
But 60 percent believe the charges are either very serious (45 percent) or somewhat serious (15 percent). While 37 percent think these charges are either not too serious (15 percent) or not serious at all (23 percent).
Half of voters (50 percent) think Trump should be prosecuted on criminal charges over his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House. In comparison, 44 percent believe he should not be prosecuted.
A majority of voters (56 percent) think serious questions remain to be answered, while 35 percent think Trump has given satisfactory answers on this matter. However, most voters (56 percent) think the Justice Department’s case involving Trump’s handling of classified documents after leaving the White House is mainly motivated by politics, while 41 percent think the case is primarily motivated by the law.
Among all voters, the top issue when it comes to picking a president is the economy (30 percent), with 28 percent naming “preserving democracy in the United States” as their most important concern. Gun violence is the top priority of nine percent of respondents; eight percent said abortion, and seven percent named immigration.
Among Republicans, the economy (47 percent) ranked first, followed by preserving democracy in the United States (23 percent) and immigration (12 percent).
Among Democrats, preserving democracy in the United States (34 percent) ranked first, followed by gun violence (18 percent) and abortion (13 percent).
And six months into his first term. Pennsylvania voters still feel good about Gov. Josh Shapiro.
Fifty-seven percent approve of how he handles the job, 23 percent disapprove, and 20 percent have no opinion. Among Democrats, Shapiro had an 84 to 4 percent approval rating and a 53 to 24 percent approval from independents. Republicans disapprove 41 to 34 percent.
Voters overwhelmingly approve 74–8 percent of how Shapiro is handling the response to the I-95 highway collapse in Philadelphia, with 18 percent not offering an opinion.
“Those across-the-board honeymoon approval numbers for first termer Gov. Shapiro are no doubt buoyed by voters’ perceptions that he stepped up and took charge when the bridge came down on I-95,” added Malloy.
In the wake of the I-95 bridge collapse, some 53 percent think roads and bridges in Pennsylvania are “mostly safe,” but 43 percent think the infrastructure is primarily unsafe.
Sen. Bob Casey Jr., a Democrat running for re-election in 2024, has a 44-to-32 percent approval rating. Democratic Sen. John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke while campaigning and then took time off from his job to be treated for depression, had a negative 39 to 50 percent approval rating, with 10 percent not offering an opinion.
Voters are also paying close attention to the scandal involving presidential son Hunter Biden. Some 33 percent said they are watching reports on it very closely, and another 37 percent said they are watching somewhat closely. Only 29 percent said they are not watching it too closely.
And 75 percent think the charges against Hunter Biden for tax issues and gun possession are very (41 percent) or somewhat (34 percent) serious. A much smaller cohort thinks the charges are not too serious (12 percent) or not serious at all (7 percent).
Fifty-eight percent think the plea deal with Hunter Biden regarding the federal tax charges and gun possession charge was mainly. In comparison, 36 percent think the plea deal was motivated primarily by the law.
The pollsters surveyed 1,584 Pennsylvania self-identified registered voters from June 22nd – 26th with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.
The poll included 614 self-identified registered Republican voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points and 664 self-identified registered Democratic voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.