HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — With a presidential election less than four months away, it’s polling season in Pennsylvania.
According to a poll conducted by Monmouth University, the former vice president is leading ahead incumbent Donald Trump in the Keystone State.
“This is not a close race at this point in time,” Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray said. “It can get closer, but this is not a dead heat by any stretch of the imagination.”
Biden leads in the poll of registered voters among whites with a college degree, 61-34, and by a wide margin among people of color: 76-16.
Trump leads among whites without college degrees: 55-39.
Demographically, Biden is leading among those under-50 years of age, 60-29, and among those over 65: 52-42.
The president is tops in the 50-64 age group: 56-43.
But pollsters say there are other troubling numbers for the incumbent.
“Forty-nine percent of registered voters say they have completely ruled out voting for Donald Trump,” Murray said. “That’s a huge number to overcome. It means Donald Trump has no room for error here. He’s got no margin. But as we saw in 2016, he has shown he can thread the needle.”
Ah, 2016! Most pollsters blew it big time when they anointed Hillary Clinton the winner before a single vote was cast. Pennsylvania congressman Mike Kelly (R-3) pointed to those polls as a reason not to believe these recent figures.
There’s also Donald Trump’s uncanny knack for pulling electoral victories from the jaws of polling defeat — which is actually measurable.
“A majority of Pennsylvania voters say they believe there are secret Trump voters who are living in their communities, who will vote for Trump but won’t tell anybody about it,” Murray said, noting, however, that appears more myth than reality.
He also noted that the real problem in 2016 was a lack of polling among people who actually showed up to vote. First-time voters broke heavily for Trump and eluded the detection of pollsters.
Murray says those in the polling business have all studied 2016 and made necessary corrections, although he qualified, “There are always new challenges. You can’t correct for a new challenge that you haven’t fixed yet. But we feel whatever was throwing the polls off in 2016 we’ve corrected for and that’s why we’re giving a range.”
Though the raw number shows Biden up 13%, Murray says the range is more likely 7-10% for the Democrat. Regardless of the numbers, the Trump and Biden camps will likely fight for PA right up until election day — because both sides desperately need it.
“Pennsylvania is essential to an electoral college victory,” Murray emphasized.
There is also an important caveat to mention, however. This poll was conducted over a week in July, and the only poll that matters is November 3. Election day.
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