President Trump is edging out Joe Biden, the Democrat Party’s presumptive nominee, in key battleground states and is also leading in support among independent voters in those states, a CNBC/Change Research poll released Wednesday revealed.
The survey, taken among 5,408 likely voters in the battleground states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin from May 15 to May 17, showed the president holding an edge over Biden, 48 percent to 46 percent — a lead just outside the 1.9 percent margin of error.
The survey also shows Trump holding an even greater advantage among independent voters in those battleground states, besting the former vice president 41 percent to 32 percent.
While voters remain split on who would handle the coronavirus pandemic better, voters believe Trump would do a better job on handling the economy moving forward, 51 percent to 40 percent.
Republicans, overall, have a more positive outlook when it comes to the coronavirus. Seventy-one percent of Republicans believe things are improving, but Democrats and independents tend to disagree. Only 35 percent of independents believe things are on the mend, with the percentage shrinking even further among Democrats, with 12 percent.
The survey also found that Democrats and independents are more likely to believe that the U.S. will see a second wave of the virus by the end of the year.
99% of Democrats say that there is at least a 50-50 chance of a second wave in U.S. infections before the end of the year, with 94% telling pollsters that it will probably or definitely happen. On the other hand, 38% of Republicans said a second wave will probably or definitely not appear, with 41% saying there’s a 50-50 chance.
More than 8 in 10 independents see at least a 50-50 chance of a second wave this year, with 37% saying there will definitely be one and 19% saying it is probable.
If there is a second wave, swing-state voters are divided over who should be blamed. Democrats overwhelmingly said the two people or groups most responsible would be Trump and states that reopened their economies too soon, while Republicans said it would be the fault of China and Democrats.
Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in all of the battleground states featured in the CNBC/Change Research poll in 2016.