Today’s 2020 Election Polls: Warning Signs Flash For Peters In Michigan Senate Race
Democrats are playing offense in their quest to take back the Senate, but a new survey out Monday found incumbent Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) ahead by just one point over GOP challenger John James, in a race Democrats assumed was a lock.
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 24: Ranking member Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., speaks during the Senate … [+]
A New York Times/Siena College survey out Monday found Peters leading James 43%-42%.
James, a West Point graduate and former Army helicopter pilot who operates a family warehousing and logistics business, has seen his longshot chances at unseating Peters improve in recent weeks as polls have narrowed.
Holding onto Peters’ seat is crucial for Democrats looking to thread the needle and take back the Senate by picking up a net gain of four seats (Democrats can assume control of the upper chamber with a net gain of three seats if Joe Biden wins the presidency because the vice president breaks the 50-50 tie).
While down ballot races may be tightening in Michigan, the Times survey found Biden ahead by 8 points in the state (48%-40%) and 10 points in Wisconsin (51%-41%).
The poll found that Trump has lost his grip with white voters in both states, a group that he won overwhelmingly in 2016, trailing by 8 points to Biden among white voters in Wisconsin and ahead by just one point among white voters in Michigan.
Biden’s lead in the two Northern battlegrounds is also predicated on his overwhelming support from voters who cast their ballot for a third party candidate in 2016, according to the Times survey.
258. That’s the number of electoral votes Biden will have if he wins all the states Hillary Clinton won in 2016, and picks up Wisconsin and Michigan, according to the Times (270 Electoral College votes are needed to win.) Both Wisconsin and Michigan went narrowly to Trump in 2016.
Nate Cohn, a polling expert for the Times, says part of the reason why Biden is polling better than Peters in Michigan is that the Michigan senator has “thus far failed to match Mr. Biden’s tallies among nonwhite voters, who disproportionately remain undecided.” “It remains to be seen whether Mr. James, who is Black, will ultimately make significant inroads among these voters,” Cohn adds.
What To Watch For
The Times says Biden’s polling lead in Wisconsin and Michigan is enough to withstand a 2016-size polling misfire.