Coronavirus surges are helping flip swing states back for Biden, analysis suggests

Josh Marcus
·2 min read
Trump speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at the Waukesha County Airport on Saturday in Waukesha, Wisconsin (Getty)
Trump speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at the Waukesha County Airport on Saturday in Waukesha, Wisconsin (Getty)

For months now, the president has been incorrectly assuring Americans that the country is “rounding the turn” on Covid-19.

At a rally on Sunday in North Carolina, for example, he said, “We're rounding the turn, our numbers are incredible,” the day after new daily coronavirus infections hit a record-breaking 83,757 people, signalling that the US has entered a feared “third wave” of the disease. Now according to an analysis from Vox, the president’s handling of coronavirus in states with major Covid surges is beginning to affect his polling numbers, even among Republicans who previously supported him.

In Wisconsin, where cases jumped 36 per cent in the last two weeks, various polls show that voters trust Joe Biden’s potential handling of the pandemic more, and find the president behind the Democrat by a range of 6.8 up to a staggering 17 per cent. Mr Trump won Wisconsin in 2016, after it went for Barack Obama twice in the two previous presidential contests.

It's a similar situation in Michigan, which Mr Trump also flipped in the 2016 election. Cases there are up 73 per cent in the last two weeks, and polls put former Vice President Biden head of Trump by roughly 7 to 8 points.

Change Research, a firm evaluating the pandemic’s impact on voting preferences, also found that people who voted for Mr Trump in 2016 and now live in states with higher Covid rates are 50 per cent more likely to support Mr Biden than those in places where the virus is under better control.

Polling numbers should always be considered with a grain of salt, as elections are unpredictable even without a pandemic, but nonetheless these trends in support mirror those at the national level.

The RealClearPolitics average of national polls shows Mr Biden leading by about 8 points.

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