Joe Biden is leading the polls in the state of Nevada and there is a tie between the Democrat and President Donald Trump in the state of Ohio, which Trump won by eight percentage points in 2016. Even Nevada, which voted for Hillary Clinton, only gave a victory of 24,000 votes and since 1988 that no candidate (except for Barack Obama) wins by more than four points. In Ohio, Republicans have won seven of the last 12 elections.
Biden appears with 48% of the voting intentions in Nevada, against 42% of Trump, and in Ohio the Democrat adds 45% against the 44% of the Republican, according to a poll published this Wednesday by the New York Times in partnership with Siena College. The Democrat’s electoral strength lies in women: by a difference of 11 points in Ohio and 14 in Nevada compared to female support for Donald Trump.
The pandemic theme continues to dominate the lives of Americans and became even more prevalent when the President himself revealed that he was infected with the new coronavirus. Since then he took a much criticized ride in his presidential car with several members of the secret services inside, subject to contagion and also decided to leave the hospital with a positive diagnosis, which was also not well accepted. More: he wants to debate on the 15th with Joe Biden, but the Democratic candidate has already said that he does not think that this head-to-head will take place if Trump is still not sure that he is no longer contagious.
These surveys were carried out after Trump announced the diagnosis but before his return and so he may not have yet accounted for the effect that his relative neglect with the disease (which has already killed more than 200,000 Americans) is having in its popularity.
Trump’s approval numbers for pandemic control may be one of the factors that are hurting the Republican’s overall polls the most. A survey released in mid-September by Ipsos shows that two thirds of the country think Trump acted too slowly to contain the virus and don’t trust what it says about the pandemic.
By a 10-point margin, Nevada residents surveyed for the poll released on Wednesday say they trust Biden more than Trump on measures to control the pandemic. In Ohio, that advantage is eight points. In Nevada, 62% of voters say Trump did not protect himself from the virus properly, a number that decreases, but only slightly, to 58% in Ohio. And there is a clue for Trump, who likes crowds and works very well among them: only 20% of Ohio’s inhabitants agree to large gatherings during the remaining weeks of the campaign, a number that, remaining low, amounts to 28% in the Nevada.
These numbers are sure to galvanize Democrats in Ohio, a state that was not on the Biden team’s list of priorities for having acquired a solid Republican bent in recent years. In addition, in 2016, 70% of Nevada’s votes were cast before election day. In Ohio, more than a quarter of all registered voters (two million people) asked that ballot papers be sent home.
State demographics can help explain a few things: a map of Donald Trump’s votes in 2016 shows that the current President had the highest vote of any Republican since 1980 in 38 of the districts and was second in another 22. This is because, as he explained to northeastern Ohio public radio Kyle Kondik, a local political analyst who edits the political website Sabato’s Crystal Ball, there are many Caucasian voters with no higher education. “White voters with a degree are falling to the side of Democrats but white voters without a degree are not. And there are many representatives of this latter group in Ohio. ”
More than economics, this analyst believes that the struggle has become cultural – and that is why Trump still has a chance. “People are voting more on big cultural issues: same-sex marriage, abortion and then things more difficult to classify as that [Colin] Kaepernick kneeled during the hymn, things that have to do with patriotism and national identity. The President made the Republican Party culturally populist. ”
In Nevada, as always, everything is up to the game. The level of unemployment among unionized workers at Culinary Union, the largest union of casino workers, was in March at 90%. It is possible that this will harm Biden, seen as someone who advocates more restrictive measures to control the pandemic, but, on the other hand, the large slice of the Latin population may give him the necessary numbers, since many are shaking with fear with the most Trump’s tough decisions in this area.