“Pennsylvania is Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west, and Alabama in the middle.” - James Carville
The political leanings of the Pennsylvania for years have been summed up by this now-infamous quote from the manager of Democrat Harris Wofford’s successful insurgent senatorial campaign in 1990. But nowadays there’s one area of the state that gets the most focus com election time, and that’s the four counties of suburban Philadelphia (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery) where moderate white voters tend to swing the statewide elections one way or the other.
It seemed like the tide had finally turned and the state was no longer a toss-up after having voted for Democrats in the last six general elections. But Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton here in 2016 by 44,292 votes after over six million were cast. Clinton won the collar counties, but not by big enough margins to overcome Trump’s massive stronghold in the middle of the state and in suburban Pittsburgh. Clinton won the six most populous counties and 11 overall, but didn’t run up enough of a margin.
This is part of a series from us here at DK Nation because DraftKings is offering $100,000 as part of a free fantasy sports Presidential election contest for those that can predict the winner of 11 states in the Presidential election. And don’t forget PredictIt has established markets for elections that allow you to earn some money while also providing research on elections.
Current Pennsylvania presidential polling
Here are the latest highly-rated final statewide polls for what is likely the most important swing state in the 2020 election:
A+: ABC News/Washington Post Likely Voters: Biden 51%-Trump 44%
A+: ABC News/Washington Post Registered Voters: Biden 49%-Trump 45%
A+: Siena College/New York Times: Biden 49%-Trump 43%
A+: Monmouth University: Registered Voters: Biden 50%-Trump 45%
A+: Monmouth University: Likely Voters Model A: Biden 51%-Trump 44%
A+: Monmouth University: Likely Voters Model B: Biden 50%-Trump 45%
A Quinnipiac poll of 1,211 likely voters in PA has Biden leading Trump by a massive 54%-41% advantage. If this is even close to correct, the race for the Presidency might be over. An interesting question in a state with a greater share of Catholic voters was also asked, and by a 72%-23% margin respondents said that Biden has a sense of decency, but by a 60%-36% difference they said Trump did not.
An A+ New York Times/Siena College in the Keystone State has Biden with a 49%-42% lead over Trump. The education split in PA is more pronounced than most places, as whites with a bachelors degree or higher are 60%-34% for Biden, whereas those without a college degree are 58%-31% for Trump.
PA might be over. An A+ rated ABC News/Washington Post poll has Biden leading 54%-45% in the Keystone State. The “Collar Counties” around Philadelphia might be the difference with Biden leading 69%-31% in that region, compared with Hillary Clinton at just 55%-42% there in 2016.
The recent polling in PA has been of lower quality, but it all says the same thing: Joe Biden leads by between 2-7% in the state, with most samples saying between 4%-5%. It makes the state in-play still for sure, but it also might be difficult for President Trump to make up the ground he needs here. He might want to put more money and time into other states to make up the 20 electoral votes on offer here.
A poll by Benenson Strategy Group/GS Strategy Group of 1,600 likely voters in the Keystone State shows Joe Biden leading President Trump 49% to 46%. Of those sampled, 29% live in a city and 45% live in a suburb, with 26% in a more rural area. And 47% had a favorable opinion of President Trump and 51% had an unfavorable opinion.
The CEO of Benenson Strategy Group is Joel Benenson, who was a key member of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign team.
An A-rated Marist College poll shows that Vice President leading 53%-44% amongst likely voters as of this morning. That number falls to 52%-44% amongst registered voters, but the home state of Biden seems to be firmly in his column at this point.
Amongst registered voters, President Trump had a 45% approval rating and a 51% disapproval. In the all-important-and-often-decisive Philadelphia suburbs, those numbers fell to 33% approval, and 65% disapproval.
The latest Keystone State polling from Morning Consult has Joe Biden leading 49%-45% in a sample taken after the two political conventions. That’s a shift from 50%-44% from before the events started. With the margin of error, that’s basically a dead statistical heat from before and after.
According to a poll from A-rated Emerson College, Biden leads Trump by 52% to 43% in the latest statewide PA poll. Biden is from Scranton, PA, and served as a senator from Delaware for 36 years, so he certainly has more of a home-field advantage in the Keystone State than Hillary Clinton did in 2016.
According to FiveThirtyEight.com, Joe Biden is ahead of Donald Trump as of now by 6.7%, 49.6% to 42.9%. 538 grades all polls based on past performance, and the latest “A-” rated poll is from Fox News, which has Biden ahead of Trump 50% to 39% in the Keystone State.
It also asked for an approval rating of the President, and he’s certainly underwater there for now: 43% of respondents approved of the job Trump is doing, but 56% disapproved, with 10% saying “somewhat” and 46% “strongly” on the disapprove side.
More useful data is at PredictIt, a site that allows a limited form of betting on elections in the United States via futures contracts. The site operates via an exemption in US law so political scientists and other academics can use the data in their research showing how the general public feels about an upcoming event or election. And right now the snapshot has a very large amount of cash thinking Pennsylvania will turn back blue in November.
All futures contracts traded on the site are based on a $1.00 outcome, but they don’t always add up to a buck because of the bid-and-ask pricing on the exchange. And on July 27th the Democrats led in Pennsylvania .73 cents to .30 cents based on current trading.
Below is a running tally of the closing price at PredictIt. We will update this weekly through the summer, and then more regularly in the fall as we get closer to the election.
Pennsylvania PredictIt Pricing
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