With the presidential election just a year away, Pennsylvania is shaping up to be an electoral battleground once again.
KDKA-TV’s political editor, Jon Delano, highlights that recent surveys suggest a neck-and-neck race for the state’s crucial electoral votes, potentially setting the stage for a 2024 face-off between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump.
One survey from Susquehanna indicates a narrow lead for Biden at 47 percent compared to Trump’s 45 percent. Conversely, a Quinnipiac survey gives Trump the edge, also with 47 percent against Biden’s 45 percent. Given the polls’ margins of error, both scenarios essentially signal a deadlock.
“Should the election be held today, we’d be in for a long, drawn-out night of results,” observes Tim Malloy from Quinnipiac. Pennsylvania’s history of tight races is well-documented: in 2016, Trump edged out Hillary Clinton by less than one percentage point, and in 2020, Biden nudged past Trump by just slightly over one percent.
Jim Lee of Susquehanna breaks it down: “Pennsylvania’s electorate doesn’t swing to the extremes. Most are centrists, which cements our status as a fiercely contested state.”
What’s particularly striking, both Lee and Malloy note, is Trump’s resilience in the face of four criminal charges and numerous civil suits. “The legal challenges haven’t dented his image,” Malloy points out. “Our data shows an overwhelming 85 percent favorability for Trump among Republican voters,” adds Lee.
Looking towards the upcoming Republican primary, Trump’s foothold appears to be strengthening. Quinnipiac’s data shows his backing has surged from 49 percent to 61 percent, while support for his nearest competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has slipped from 25 percent to 14 percent. Susquehanna’s findings mirror this trend.
The independent voter segment, which leaned towards Biden in 2020 by an eight-point margin, is poised to be pivotal in 2024. Current polling presents a mixed view: Susquehanna’s numbers show an 11-point lead for Biden among independents, whereas Quinnipiac indicates a nine-point preference for Trump in this critical group.