A closer look at the Florida and Wisconsin polls.
This is around when the convention rebounds start to wane. It’s still too early to say whether President Trump’s rebound will fade or last, but Tuesday was arguably Joe Biden’s best state polling day since the Republican National Convention.
The best news for Biden in a long time in Florida. A Monmouth University poll showed Mr Biden rose four percentage points among likely voters on average, his best result from a non-partisan, live pollster in several weeks. He held a large lead in Florida over the summer, but it gradually slipped – in part because of a somewhat surprising weakness among Latino voters. The Monmouth poll shows no sign of that weakness today, with Mr Biden leading by 26 points among Hispanic voters, which is on par with Hillary Clinton’s performance four years ago. If Mr. Biden can match Ms. Clinton among Hispanic voters, he will be in a strong position: polls consistently show Mr. Biden ahead of Ms. Clinton among white voters.
Now, measuring the support of Hispanic voters in Florida is not easy. About a third of the state’s Hispanic voters are Cubans, and they’re extremely concentrated in the Miami area – the most difficult area of the state to reach in a survey. As a group, these voters lean Republican. But the other two-thirds are strongly Democrats and live statewide. On top of that, Hispanic voters are more difficult to reach in general. They are younger and concentrated in urban areas, and many speak Spanish as a first language, which adds additional difficulties – and costs – to pollsters.
All that to say: in Florida, a lot will depend on how pollsters can measure a relatively small group of hard-to-reach voters. So interpret with caution any results among Latino voters, especially in Florida.
Another poll shows Trump is hanging out badly in Wisconsin. One place where the polls have consistently offered bad news for the president is Wisconsin, where Mr. Biden has held a steady lead. Today, a CNN / SSRS poll added to the consensus by showing Mr Biden a 10-point hike, one of his biggest advances in this cycle. The company also gave Mr Biden a three-point lead in North Carolina, another result consistent with a clear national advantage for the former vice president. One caveat: CNN / SSRS polls have tended to tilt to the left of the poll average so far this cycle, as well as 2018.
Tomorrow, we expect another Wisconsin poll from ABC News / Washington Post. If he joins the club of high-quality pollsters showing at least a five or six point lead for Mr Biden, it would paint such a clear picture that you are going to be in a battlefield state so far from an election.
A stable day across the country. There weren’t a lot of national polls today, but the small number we got was largely in line with their past results and a pretty stable race.
Bouts Morning Consult had a relatively weak result for Mr. Biden in Minnesota, although there are plenty of other recent polls showing Mr. Biden with a larger lead. Florida Atlantic University has shown a tie race in Florida, although the company doesn’t have much of a track record and its methodology is mixed. Virginia Commonwealth University gave Biden a double-digit lead in Virginia.