Non-Partisan Polling Firm Moves Minnesota, Michigan Closer to Trump

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Polls can be illustrative in the aggregate; I don’t often point to individual polls unless they are a real outlier. With that said: After President Biden’s horrible debate performance last week, the polls have been sliding away from Biden and toward Trump, and now Larry Sabato’s non-partisan polling organization, “The Center for Politics,” has on Wednesday released another set of swing-state polls that are supporting the general trend. What’s interesting here is that they are placing Minnesota in play, and Minnesota has not voted for a Republican for president since 1972. Writing for The Center for Politics, Kyle Kondik lays it out:

We had been giving Biden the benefit of the doubt in Michigan, keeping it as Leans Democratic even though polling there has been close for months. But we really can’t justify giving Biden an edge there now, even though we do still expect it to be the bluest part of the “Blue Wall” trio (the group of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin). With Michigan as a Toss-up, it also makes sense to downgrade Minnesota from Likely Democratic to Leans Democratic. Powered by Democratic growth in the Twin Cities and its suburbs that has mostly counterbalanced a Republican trend in outstate areas, Minnesota is the second-bluest Midwest state, trailing only Illinois. But Trump almost won Minnesota in 2016 and it’s just one shade bluer, not two shades bluer, than Michigan (hence why it should be just Leans Democratic in our ratings if Michigan is a Toss-up). Just to be clear, Biden has zero plausible paths to the White House without Michigan (and of course Minnesota).

The benefit of the doubt can’t really be freely given anymore. The Biden campaign looks to be in free fall. The polling looks like it will only get worse for Team Biden; it was bad before, and after the abysmal debate performance, the Democrats and the Biden administration can’t keep the lid on Joe Biden’s deterioration any longer. This polling slip has been the trend even before the debate, and it seems to be accelerating now.

See Related: NEW: Trump Maintains Lead vs. Biden in Battleground States, As We Draw Nearer to First Debate 

Trump Campaign Opening Up the Map With New Offices in Minnesota, Virginia

This report, to be specific — and I’ll repeat my disclaimer that individual polls and estimates should only be viewed in the context of the broad trends — makes two major moves concerning the Electoral College. Michigan, a state Donald Trump carried in 2016 but lost in 2020, has been moved from “Leans Democratic” to “Toss-Up.” Minnesota, which Trump lost in both elections and last went to a Republican presidential candidate in 1972, has moved from “Likely Democratic” to “Leans Democratic.”

The RealClearPolitics averages for Michigan have Trump leading Biden by 1.2 percent. This average is based on five polls, beginning in early May.

The most recent Minnesota polls, also documented by RealClearPolitics, have Trump and Biden tied in a head-to-head matchup, and Trump leading by one point in a Trump/Biden/Kennedy/Stein/West matchup.

None of this looks good for Team Biden. The Trump people have opened a campaign office in Minnesota, and even if they have little chance of winning the Land of 10,000 Lakes, they will succeed in putting the Biden campaign in a position where they are defending what is supposed to be solid Democratic territory.

It’s never good to be in a position where the enemy is engaging you on grounds of his choosing, worse still if the enemy has you defending your territory — and that is precisely where the Biden campaign is today. Post-debate, it’s just getting worse.

Stay tuned. Things are certain to get more interesting.

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