A Washington Post/ABC News poll of Wisconsin and Michigan released Wednesday morning had good news for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. In Michigan, the poll found him beating President Trump by a modest 7 percentage points among likely voters, 51 percent to 44 percent, within the margin of error. But Biden's lead in Wisconsin was 17 points among both likely and registered voters, a lead so large The Washington Post suggested it might be "significantly more bullish for Biden than some other public polls" because of "variation in random sample surveys."
Biden's Wisconsin lead in the RealClearPolitics average is 5.5 points (49.8 percent to 44.3 percent), and FiveThirtyEight puts Biden ahead by 7.1 points, 51.4 percent to 44.3 percent. RealClearPolitics also gives Biden a 9-point lead in Michigan (50.5 percent to 41.5 percent), while FiveThirtyEight pegs it at 8.3 points, 50.9 percent to 42.6 percent. Biden has led in both states for months now; Trump won both by narrow margins in 2016 — 10,704 votes out of 4.8 million cast in Michigan and 22,748 out of 3 million votes in Wisconsin.
Trump's approval rating and poll numbers are down in both states compared with the last Washington Post/ABC News poll, and the pollsters attribute his especially precipitous fall in Wisconsin — Biden led by just 6 points in mid-September — to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wisconsin is "now reported to be third in the nation in per capita COVID-19 cases, with a 53 percent increase in average daily cases in the past two weeks, a record number of hospitalizations, and a 112 percent jump in deaths," ABC News reports. And the polls bear that out: Biden now leads Trump by 20 points on who Wisconsin voters trust to handle the outbreak, from 7 points in September.
Biden's lead is also fueled in both states by double-digit leads among women and majorities of older voters.
The polls were conducted via phone, mostly cellphones, Oct. 20-25 among 789 likely voters in Michigan and 809 likely Wisconsin voters. The margin of sampling error in both states is ± 4 percentage points.