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Government & Politics
2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

New Baldwin Wallace Poll Shows Biden Leading Trump in Three Neighboring States -- But Not Ohio

Former Vice President Joe Biden (left) and President Donald Trump (right).
The BW poll was taken just after the president's COVID-19 diagnosis, which came a few days after the first, and possibly only, debate between Biden and Trump.

A new Baldwin Wallace University poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden with a sizable lead over President Donald Trump in three Great Lakes states – but not Ohio.

Trump won Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by less than a percentage point in 2016. But in this latest survey, Biden holds leads of five to seven percent in those states. That’s in contrast to Ohio, where Trump won by 8 points last time, and is still in the lead now – by 2 points.

Ohio polls showed a close race four years ago, and the final result was a surprise for Political Science Professor Tom Sutton. He heads the school’s Community Research Institute, which conducted the new poll. “We do see a solidified position based on whether [voters] live in an urban or rural area. Suburban, of course, is more mixed. And that’s also where a lot of swing voters tend to move from one candidate to another candidate.”

Sutton says part of the reason that Ohio skews conservative compared to the other three states is that it’s less diverse and the average age is four years older.

He adds that voters in all four states agreed that Biden won the first presidential debate. But the results were mixed for Trump in other categories.

Political Science Professor Tom Sutton on Trump v. Biden
Biden gets higher marks on how he might have handled the coronavirus pandemic
Political Science Professor Tom Sutton

“Ohioans gave him pretty high approval ratings for how he’s handling the economy – as did the other states. But much lower ratings for how he’s handling the coronavirus. And then when we asked comparatively -- ‘who do you think would do a better job of handling coronavirus [and] bringing the country together?’ – Biden had higher ratings than did Trump.”

Sutton says the majority of voters surveyed in all four states also voiced support for both legalized abortion and Obamacare.

Click here to view the poll results.