Biden leads Pres. Trump by 10 points in Michigan, NewsNation/Emerson College poll shows

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The latest NewsNation/Emerson College poll of Michigan has good news for Democratic nominee Joe Biden in a state President Donald Trump won narrowly in 2016.

The former vice president has a 10-point lead among those polled. Biden’s current advantage is outside the margin of error of 3.6%. The poll was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday and sampled 716 likely registered voters.

In 2016, President Trump won Michigan’s 16 electoral votes after winning the state by just under 11,000 votes.

“A 10 point lead is significant and Michigan appears to be one of Biden’s better pick up opportunities in 2020,” said Spencer Kimball, director of Emerson College polling.

Among those polled, likely voters said the former vice president was more honest than the incumbent president by 13%.

53% of those polled felt the Democratic nominee was more likely to win the election, compared to 47%.

President Trump’s approval in the state was 42%.

A glimmer of good news for President Trump involves enthusiasm. Our poll found 63% of Trump supporters were very excited to vote for him compared to just 43% of Biden supporters who feel that way.


More than half of voters polled believe COVID-19 is a major threat to public health, while 31% think it is a moderate threat. 12% view the pandemic as a minor threat and 5% feel it’s not a threat, which is similar to a NewsNation/Emerson College poll released earlier this week in the key state of Pennsylvania.

Regarding the president’s infection by the virus, 20% said it made them more likely to support the president in next month’s election, while 25% said it made them less likely to vote for him. 55% said it would have no impact on their vote.

On Thursday, President Trump’s doctor said he completed his course of therapy and will have a “safe return to public engagements” as soon as Saturday.

Senate race

Ranking member Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., speaks during the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing titled Threats to the Homeland, in Dirksen Senate Office Building on Thursday, September 24, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams – Pool/Getty Images)

Incumbent Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) is leading against his Republican challenger, John James, among those polled. Peters is up 10 points, with 51% support. 41% say they plan to support James, 2% plan to support someone else, and 6% remain undecided.

How the NewsNation/Emerson poll was conducted

The Michigan Emerson College/NewsNation poll was conducted on October 6-7, 2020. The sample consisted of likely registered voters in Michigan, n=716, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to the poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3.6 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, and education based on 2016 voter turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using Interactive Voice Response (VIR) system (n=358), SMS-to-web texting (n=95) and an online panel provided by MTurk (n=264).

The perception of political polling took a hit after polls in 2016 overestimated support for Hillary Clinton.  As a result, much of the country was surprised when Donald Trump won the election. 


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