Exclusive: In Counties that Flipped from Victories for Obama to Trump, Biden Leads the President by 6% in a New Poll

The results of a Redfield & Wilton Strategies poll released Wednesday found that 47% of likely voters favored the Democratic nominee, compared to 41% for the Republican president, in counties that Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012 that pivoted to Donald Trump in 2016. Another 9% said they were undecided.

The economy is the main concern for 40% of respondents in those counties, while 28% said healthcare is the key issue and 4% said law and order is their top concern, according to the Redfield survey conducted for Newsweek.

South Carolina Polls
Voters cast their ballots in the voting booths at the early vote location at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center in North Charleston, South Carolina on October 16, 2020. Logan Cyrus/Getty

Among those who voted in the 2016 presidential election, 79% said they would not change how they voted, while 12% would, and 9% didn't know.

Asked if they're better off now than four years ago, 32% of those surveyed said they're better off, while 31% said they're about the same, for a combined total of 63% saying they were the same or better. Another 26% said they're worse off than four years ago, according to the poll. An additional10% said they don't know how their situation compares to 2016.

The survey found that 59% of respondents who said they're better off than four years ago felt Trump's policies have contributed to their improved status, and 34% said the Republican president's policies did not.

Among those who say they're worse off than four years ago, 59% said the president's policies contributed to the deterioration in their lives, with 31% saying his policies didn't.

Of the registered voters surveyed, 25% said they've already voted. Additionally, 38% said they will definitely vote, while 10% will probably vote, and 4% said they are leaning toward voting but may not. Another 5% said they're leaning toward not voting but may, and 4% said they'll probably won't vote, with 13% saying they definitely will not vote.

The survey asked likely voters which method of casting their ballot they would use or have used already in this year's election.

Among likely voters, 40% told pollsters they will vote in person on Election Day, with another 34% voting by mail and 21% voting in person early. An additional 5% said they don't know which method they will use to vote.

Among those voting by mail, 70% said they've sent their ballot to their county's Board of Elections, and 14% saying they had not yet completed or sent in their ballot. Another 6% said they'd requested their ballot but hadn't received it yet. An additional 10% said they planned to vote by mail vote but hadn't yet requested their ballot, according to the survey's results.

Voter turnout has been strong and is anticipated to eclipse recent presidential elections in the percentage of eligible voters casting ballots.

Nationwide, as of Wednesday morning, more than 73.3 million ballots have been cast, according to data compiled by the University of Florida 's U.S. Elections Project. That number is equal to 53% of the total votes counted in the 2016 general election. More than 48 million people have voted by mail, and more than 24 million in person.

In states with political party registration, 47.7% of the overall 35.5 million early voters as of Wednesday morning were registered Democrats and 29.3% were Republicans, according to the U.S. Elections Project.

In Texas, more than 8 million people had voted as of Tuesday, according to the U.S. Elections Project run by University of Florida political science Professor Michael McDonald, a number equal to about 95% of the total number of people in Texas who voted in the presidential election of 2016.

In Pennsylvania, nearly 2 million mail-in ballots have been returned as of this morning, the U.S Elections Project reported. Of the 1,978,486 returned, 1,354,624 were from registered Democrats and 426,431 from Republicans.

In Michigan, more than 2.3 million mail-in ballots, or 74.6% of those requested, have been returned and accepted as of this morning, according to US Elections data.

In Wisconsin more than 1.5 million in-person ballots have been cast, and 1.1 million mail-in ballots, or 61.6% of those requested, have been returned, according to the U.S. Elections Project.

The political landscape is replete with public opinion polls this time of year. A Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of recent 2020 presidential general election polls found Biden leading Trump by 7.1%. while the FiveThirtyEight average of national presidential polls shows Biden with an 8.5% lead.

But it's not the people who elect the president, it's the states, through the mechanism of the Electoral College. And this year's presidential contest appears to be tightening while Biden and Trump, and their surrogates, continue to push their messages in battleground states across the Rust Belt and in the South.

In 2016, Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 1.2% in Florida, with its 29 Electoral College votes. The presidential leads Biden by 0.4% there in an RCP average of recent polls.

In the contest for the second-biggest Electoral College prize—the 38 electoral votes of Texas— the president leads Biden by 2.6% in RCP's average of polls. Trump won the Lone Star state by 9% in 2016.

Trump captured Georgia and its 16 Electoral College votes in 2016 by more than 5%. The president and his Democratic opponent are tied there, according to RCP's average of recent polls.

In 2016, Trump won Pennsylvania and its 20 Electoral College votes by less than 1%. But in an average of recent polls, Biden leads the president by 3.8% in the Keystone state, according to RCP.

In Wisconsin, which Trump won by less than 1% in 2016, he trails Biden by 6.7%, according to an RCP average of recent polls. Wisconsin has 10 Electoral College votes.

RCP's average of polls in Michigan, which Trump also won by less than 1% in 2016, shows Biden holds an 8.6% lead over the president. Michigan has 16 votes in the Electoral College.

In Minnesota, Biden leads the president by 6.0% in RCP's average of recent polls. Trump lost the state, and its 10 Electoral College votes, to Clinton by less than 2% in 2016

Ohio, with its 18 Electoral College votes, went for Trump in 2016 by more than 8% in 2016. The president holds a slim lead of 0.6% over Biden, according to RCP.

Redfield conducted the online web survey from October 25 to October 27. The survey's results have a margin of error of 2.38%.

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