Biden Leading in Arizona
Vice President narrowing enthusiasm gap
PHOENIX (July 16th, 2020) – Donald Trump continues to trail Joe Biden in the key battleground state of Arizona, according to a new Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) survey released by OH Predictive Insights. The former Vice President leads the President 49 -44.
This AZPOP – OHPI’s monthly poll of likely voters in the state of Arizona – finds the state of the Presidential race virtually unchanged since May when Joe Biden led Donald Trump 50-43.
While the top-line numbers in this match-up remain relatively steady since the spring, there have been changes under the surface. In particular, while supporters of President Trump were once much more enthusiastic to vote in November than Vice President Biden’s supporters, the gap has narrowed to a statistical tie in recent months.
“Donald Trump has long been able to count on the enthusiasm of his supporters to overwhelm his opponents,” says OHPI Chief of Research, Mike Noble. “But now Trump and Biden’s voters are expressing the same level of enthusiasm.”
The divide has not narrowed because Biden is motivating his base (his supporters are no more enthusiastic than they were in April). However, Donald Trump voters are no longer as eager to vote as they once were. The share of voters who are extremely enthusiastic to vote for Trump fell 12 points in the second quarter of 2020 while the share who are as excited to vote for Biden rose 3.
While he is now on equal footing with the President in terms of voter enthusiasm, the news is not all positive for Joe Biden. Many of the key constituencies in Joe Biden’s coalition are still significantly less motivated than their more Republican counterparts. For instance, younger voters and those who are college-educated are much less excited to vote than those who are older or non-college educated.
Additionally, reflective of the partisan nature of the current American political environment, Independents (among whom Biden leads by 21) are less likely to be eager to cast their ballot than members of either major political party. Below is a chart of some of the key demographic groups which will likely decide the Presidential contest here in Arizona and their current level of Enthusiasm regarding voting in the 2020 General Election.
Another interesting yet underreported phenomenon which this survey highlights, is the decline in Trump’s support among rural voters. Much media attention has been paid to the shifting politics of Maricopa County — home to three-fifths of Arizona’s electorate. However, in Arizona’s rural counties, support for the president has dropped. The president carried the region by 17 points in 2016, but currently is only leading Biden by 11 – a 6-point shift away from the President.
“For Donald Trump to win in Arizona, he is going to need to solidify his hold on rural voters and re-energize his supporters,” according to Jacob Joss, OHPI Data Analyst. “Both of those tasks are achievable, but he is running out of time to get them done.”
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