President Biden leads both former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in hypothetical matchups in the key swing state of Michigan, according to a new poll.
A poll from Susquehanna Polling & Research shared first with The Hill found Biden leads Trump by 3 points, 46 percent to 43 percent, and DeSantis by 6 points, 48 percent to 42 percent. Eight percent in both questions said they would support another candidate.
Michigan is likely to be one of the most hotly contested states in the 2024 presidential election, having voted for Trump in the 2016 election before flipping to Biden in 2020. The state was critical to both of their victories.
Susquehanna Polling & Research President Jim Lee told The Hill that Biden’s 3-point lead over Trump shows Michigan is about the same as what Biden won the state by in 2020.
The poll is reason for optimism for Biden, whose approval rating has remained in the low 40s in recent months. A CNN poll released last week had Biden’s rating down to 39 percent from 41 percent in July.
But Lee said one concern for Biden is he is underperforming with Democrats, only receiving support from 87 percent to Trump’s 90 percent of Republicans. He noted that exit polls showed Biden winning 97 percent of Democrats in Michigan in 2020 to Trump’s 94 percent of Republicans, meaning the current president has ground to make up.
But Biden leads Trump among independents and non-affiliated voters, which were critical to his win, 44 percent to 37 percent.
Lee added that Biden’s margins in other swing states like Arizona and Georgia were closer than in Michigan, but Biden’s lead is still within the poll’s margin of error.
Polling has largely shown Biden in a close match with most of his potential Republican challengers for the election.
Biden led Trump by 1 point nationwide in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. A Morning Consult poll released Tuesday showed Biden ahead of Trump by 2 points and ahead of DeSantis by 5 points.
The Susquehanna poll also showed Trump with a massive lead over his GOP opponents among registered Republicans in Michigan. The former president had support from 65 percent, while DeSantis came in second with 18 percent.
All other candidates’ support was in the single digits. The state could be crucial to determining if Trump ultimately wins the nomination or if another candidate could close in on him, as it is one of the first to vote in the GOP nominating process.
Political consultant and Susquehanna strategic partner Garrett Biggs said Trump is “almost a slam dunk” to be the Republican nominee but will need to expand his coalition to close the gap with Biden for independent voters.
“Campaigns are about message and repetition, and the message will have to aim more to independent moderate voters to win swing states like Michigan,” Biggs said.
The poll was conducted among 700 registered voters, including 219 Republicans who plan to participate in Michigan’s presidential electoral process, from Sept. 7-12. The margin of error for the entire sample was 3.7 points.