Virginia in Play: Trump Leads Biden in Key Swing States

Virginia in Play: Biden Focuses on Pennsylvania as Trump Gains in Battleground States

As the 2024 presidential election approaches, Virginia is emerging as a significant battleground state. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has been dedicating much of his campaign efforts to Pennsylvania, where his approval ratings have remained notably low. Recent polling data from Emerson College and The Hill indicates that former President Donald Trump is currently leading Biden in six crucial swing states, signaling potential challenges for the incumbent.


The latest surveys show Trump leading Biden in Arizona (47%-43%), Georgia (45%-41%), Michigan (46%-45%), Nevada (46%-43%), Pennsylvania (47%-45%), and Wisconsin (47%-44%). These figures suggest a consistent or growing advantage for Trump in these states compared to previous polls taken before his recent conviction on 34 business fraud charges in Manhattan.

“In our first polling in several key swing states since Trump’s conviction last month, there has been little movement, with support for both Trump and Biden staying largely consistent since November,” explained Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling. “Notably, results fall within the poll’s margin of error.”

Additionally, the poll highlights a neck-and-neck race in Minnesota, where both candidates are tied at 45%. Despite Minnesota historically favoring Democratic candidates, the Trump campaign remains optimistic about its chances this election cycle.

Independent voters are playing a pivotal role in these battleground states, with Trump gaining their support in most regions. However, there has been a slight shift among these voters since April. In Arizona, Trump’s support among independents dropped from 48% to 43%, while in Michigan, it decreased from 44% to 41%. Pennsylvania saw a more significant decline, with Trump’s support among independents falling from 49% to 41%. Conversely, Biden also experienced a dip in support among independents in Georgia (42% to 36%) and Nevada (37% to 32%).

The RealClearPolitics polling average corroborates these findings, showing Trump leading Biden in all six battleground states surveyed by Emerson, with margins ranging from 0.2 percentage points in Michigan to 5.7 percentage points in Nevada.

Despite the competitive landscape, Biden has not deviated from his strategy of focusing on Pennsylvania, a state crucial to his electoral strategy. His campaign has been heavily invested in shoring up support in the Keystone State, where his approval ratings are precariously low. Biden’s team believes that securing Pennsylvania is essential for his re-election bid.


In addition to the presidential race, the Emerson/The Hill survey reveals that Democrats in key Senate races are outperforming Biden. In Arizona, Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego is leading Republican Kari Lake, 45% to 41%. Pennsylvania’s incumbent Democratic Senator Bob Casey is ahead of Republican David McCormick, 47% to 41%. Similarly, in Michigan, Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin is outpacing former GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, 43% to 39%. In Nevada, Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen has a significant lead over Republican nominee Sam Brown, 50% to 38%. Wisconsin’s Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin is narrowly ahead of Republican Eric Hovde, 46% to 44%.

Voter dissatisfaction with Biden’s performance is evident in these states, with disapproval ratings ranging from 35% in Georgia to 39% in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The economy remains the most critical issue for voters, with significant percentages citing it as their top concern: Arizona (27%), Georgia (45%), Michigan (41%), Minnesota (34%), Wisconsin (42%), Nevada (35%), and Pennsylvania (44%).

While economic concerns dominate, other issues vary by state. In Michigan (13%), Minnesota (15%), Pennsylvania (12%), and Wisconsin (12%), “threats to our republic” rank high on the list of voter concerns. Immigration is a close second to the economy in Arizona, with 26% of registered voters prioritizing it. A majority of voters in Arizona also support a ballot measure allowing state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants and giving state judges the authority to order deportations.

In Nevada, housing is a significant concern, with 14% of voters identifying it as their top issue. Healthcare is the second most important issue for Georgia voters, with 10% considering it their primary concern. Moreover, majorities in Arizona (56%) and Nevada (58%) support ballot measures enshrining the right to an abortion in their state constitutions.

The Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey sampled 1,000 registered voters in each state between June 13-18, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

As Biden and Trump prepare for their first general election debate in Atlanta next Thursday, the stakes are high. With Virginia in play and Biden focusing heavily on Pennsylvania, the dynamics of this election remain fluid, and both campaigns are working tirelessly to secure every crucial vote.

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