With less than six weeks to go in the race for the presidency, a new battleground survey released by the University of Wisconsin Elections Research Center indicates Joe Biden remains ahead of Donald Trump in key battleground states

The third installment of 2020 ERC surveys show Biden maintained a consistent lead over Trump in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan since the last ERC poll in August. But, Trump’s numbers have increased among battleground voters since the previous poll. 

Presidential candidate Joe Biden visits Jacob Blake’s family in KenoshaDemocratic presidential nominee Joe Biden visited Jacob Blake’s hometown of Kenosha on Thursday for his first 2020 campaign stop in Read…

ERC Director Barry Burden said in an email statement to The Badger Herald that the cause of the increase in Trump’s numbers is unclear.

“The only small change detectable in the surveys appears to be a slight shift toward Trump among independents … [which] could be the result of a minor bump coming out of the Republican convention, but it is difficult to distinguish that effect from other things happening around the same time,” Burden said. 

Among registered voters, Biden leads in Michigan by eight points and by five points in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, according to the survey results. Though, when the totals are put into the context of “likely” voters — registered voters who are “certain” they will vote — the gap narrows slightly with Trump trailing by six points in Michigan, by four in Wisconsin and by only three in Pennsylvania. 

These states remain key battleground states in 2020 since they all flipped Republican in 2016 to help President Donald Trump win the Electoral College. Previously, the three states had consistently voted for Democratic candidates since the 1980s. 

UW survey finds Biden leading polls in Wisconsin, other key battleground statesUniversity of Wisconsin’s Elections Research Center conducted polls in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that put Joe Biden ahead of President Read…

Burden said the same types of voters that flipped the battleground states red in 2016 hold power to do the same in 2020.

“Rural areas and older voters are two key demographics to watch in Wisconsin,” Burden said. “They were important sources for Trump in 2016, but both have been vacillating between the candidates in recent surveys.”

Though, due to the incumbent’s current numbers, Burden said Trump will have a difficult time reclaiming the swing states. Burden said unless the Supreme Court nomination or other events shift the campaign, Trump is in a difficult position to win the electoral college vote.

Among the 800 respondents surveyed in each battleground state, the survey reported nearly half of Biden voters selected the pandemic as their top concern while Trump voters labeled the economy as their most important issue. 

UW survey finds Biden leading polls in Wisconsin, other key battleground statesUniversity of Wisconsin’s Elections Research Center conducted polls in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that put Joe Biden ahead of President Read…

Traditional Democratic issues of healthcare, climate change and inequality were ranked most important by 12% to 14% of Biden supporters while Trump supporters placed the concern of national crime above the pandemic, according to the survey. 

“Recent events have had surprisingly little effect on the overall presidential race,” Burden said. “Although the national party conventions, continuing concern about the pandemic and the shooting of Jacob Blake all took place in recent weeks, the contest between Biden and Trump has remained quite stable.” 

Katie Hardie