A little more than a month ago, Joe Biden led Donald Trump in the RealClearPolitics polling average in Pennsylvania, a key swing state that Trump won in 2016 by less than one point.
Now, at the start of September, that gap has halved, and Biden leads by only a little more than four points in the RCP average. A new survey from Monmouth University suggests that, among likely voters, that margin could be even smaller.
When Monmouth last polled the state of the general election contest between Trump and Biden in Pennsylvania in mid July, the former vice president had a substantial lead of 13 points among registered voters, with 53 percent support to Trump’s 40 percent. In Monmouth’s latest poll, Biden’s lead has dropped to just four points, with 49 percent support to Trump’s 45 percent.
Among likely voters, the gap is smaller still. As Monmouth’s summary of the results puts it, “The contest tightens when different likely voter models are applied. A model based on a somewhat higher level of turnout than 2016 puts the race at 49 percent for Biden and 46 percent for Trump, while one reflecting lower turnout has it at 48 percent for Biden and 47 percent for Trump.”
In Monmouth’s mid-July poll, meanwhile, the high-turnout model showed Biden with a ten-point lead among likely voters, with 52 percent to Trump’s 42 percent, and the low-turnout model gave Biden a seven-point lead, 51 percent to 44 percent.
This change in survey data from Pennsylvania mirrors an overall shift in the battleground states as, over the last five or six weeks, Biden’s commanding lead has steadily shrunk. In the overall RCP average of polling in the top battlegrounds — Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin — Biden’s advantage has dropped from a more than six-point lead in late July to a lead of about 2.5 percent today.