A poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Trump by five points in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup in Arizona.
Biden leads Trump 49 percent to 44 percent in the poll conducted by Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) between May 1 and May 2, after Biden announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. The poll of 600 likely voters has a 4 percent margin of error.
Biden was the only one of the six Democratic 2020 presidential candidates OHPI tested in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup with President Trump with a lead over the Republican incumbent.
Trump leads Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) by five points, 47 percent to 42 percent, former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) by six points, 46 percent to 40 percent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) by nine points, 46 percent to 37 percent, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg by nine points, 46 percent to 37 percent, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) by nine points, 48 percent to 39 percent.
“The Internet was barely a thing the last time a Democrat presidential candidate won Arizona,” OHPI’s Mike Noble said in a statement released on Tuesday along with the poll.
“Hillary Clinton’s dedicated significant resources to win Arizona but to no avail. This poll shows Joe Biden could turn Arizona into a true battleground state in 2020,” Noble added.
As Breitbart News reported last week, a Democratic presidential nominee has not won Arizona since 1996, when President Bill Clinton narrowly defeated Republican nominee Bob Dole:
The 2016 presidential contest there was closer than expected. President Trump won the state’s 11 electoral college votes with a four point victory over Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, 49 percent to 45 percent.
For over a year now, Arizona has been considered either a 2020 tossup or lean Republican as energetic Democratic activists there have secured a number of recent victories.
Part of that energy has come from the nationwide left wing #RedforEd teachers movement, which was launched in Arizona in March 2018 by then 23-year-old Noah Karvelis and several other young 2016 Bernie Sanders supporters who had been embedded in the teachers union with the help of the president of the Arizona Education Association, Joe Thomas.
Among the poll’s other key findings: “Approximately, 70% of Democratic respondents that are undecided on other Democratic candidates would support Joe Biden against Trump,” and “Trump is currently losing 18% of Republican voters to Biden and is trailing in the heavily populated Maricopa County by 10-points.”
Arizona’s 11 electoral college votes and the narrowness of President Trump’s 2016 victory make it one of several battleground states President Trump won in 2016 that he can ill afford to lose in 2020.
A Trump 2020 loss in Arizona–with the same results in all the other 49 states–would drop his electoral college total to 295, still 25 more than the 270 needed to win the presidency. (Trump won 306 electoral college votes on election day, but received only 304 electoral college votes due to two “faithless electors” in Texas.)
Such a loss in Arizona, however, would only heighten the need for President Trump to win at least two of the three critical battleground states he won in 2016 to win re-election: Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral college votes, Michigan with its 16 electoral college votes, and Wisconsin with its 10 electoral college votes.
OHPI’s Noble says the results indicate President Trump does not have a lock on Arizona in 2020.
“Fifteen months before the Arizona primary, Biden is the Democratic candidate best positioned to take on the president. If Democrats put electibility above all else, Biden could run away with the nomination and the White House,” Noble said.
Noble also implied that, while these results suggest that Biden is positioned to defeat President Trump in 2020, Democrats could throw a potential victory away if they nominate someone other than the former Vice President.
“Nationally and in Arizona, Biden is currently the king of the hill, although just like in the childhood game many of us used to play at recess, the question remains if he will be on top of the hill when the bell rings,” Noble said.
“The winners and losers of the 2020 election cycle will greatly depend on who ultimately lands up becoming the Democratic nominee for President,” Noble concluded.
Notably, however, the OHPI poll did not measure Arizona voter attitudes towards Biden on what is expected to be his biggest vulnerability in the 2020 race: The financial relationship between his son, Hunter Biden, and government-connected entities in China and the Ukraine.