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Fox News Poll: Biden and Trump in close race in Michigan

fox-news-poll:-biden-and-trump-in-close-race-in-michigan
Fox News Poll: Biden and Trump in close race in Michigan

Despite Michigan voters disapproving of the job President Joe Biden is doing, many also say their family finances are holding steady or getting better — and that leads to a tight race between the incumbent and former President Donald Trump in the Wolverine State.

In a hypothetical 2024 presidential matchup, Biden receives 45% support to Trump’s 47% in a Fox News survey of Michigan registered voters. Trump’s 2-point edge is well within the survey’s margin of sampling error. 

Biden won Michigan in 2020 by less than 3 points. In 2016, Trump took the state by less than half a point — and that’s the only time the state went red since 1988.

Biden’s best groups include those that traditionally go Democratic, including liberals, Black voters, suburban women, those voting on the abortion issue, and voters with a college degree. He’s also ahead with those living in union households, voters ages 65 and over, and women.

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Fox News Poll

While he still has a substantial lead among Black voters, Biden’s 68% share today is down significantly from the 93% he won in 2020, according to the Fox News voter analysis election survey. He’s also lagging his 2020 numbers among women, voters under age 45, men under 45, and independents. 

In 2020, Biden won voters under 45 and independents, but both groups now favor Trump.

Fox News Poll

Trump’s strongest support comes from conservatives, those saying immigration and border security are extremely important to their vote, White evangelical Christians, Whites without a college degree, and rural voters. He’s also favored by younger voters, men, White voters, and independents.

In addition, party loyalty also plays a big role in Trump’s advantage, as 93% of Republicans back him compared to 89% of Democrats for Biden.

Fox News Poll

In a potential 5-way race, Trump’s advantage over Biden widens to 5 points (42% vs. 37%), with third-party candidate Robert F. Kennedy receiving 11%, Jill Stein 3%, and Cornel West 2%.

In this scenario, 77% of 2020 Biden voters stick with him, compared to Trump holding onto 87% of his 2020 voters. 

“Third-party candidates are draining twice as much support from Biden as from Trump,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts Fox News surveys with Republican Daron Shaw. “While many currently supporting third-party candidates will gravitate back to major party candidates by Election Day, a low level of third-party support could make a difference in a close election if the defections come disproportionately from Biden.”

The economy is the top issue in Michigan, as 6 in 10 say it will be extremely important in deciding their presidential vote. About half say the same about election integrity, immigration and border security, and health care. Fewer cite abortion, foreign policy, climate change, and the Israel-Hamas war.

Of course, partisans see things differently on the issue front. Three-quarters of Republicans prioritize the economy and immigration/border security. For Democrats, the top two issues are health care and abortion, as over half say those will be extremely important to their decision. Election integrity comes in third among both Democrats (48%) and Republicans (57%). 

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Republicans are three times more likely than Democrats to prioritize immigration/border security, while Democrats are four times more likely than Republicans to say climate change is extremely important. 

More Michigan voters trust Biden than Trump to handle climate change, abortion, election integrity, and health care.

More prefer Trump on the issues of immigration/border security, the economy, Israel-Hamas, and foreign policy. 

Fox News Poll

Each candidate is favored on four issues, but Trump is trusted by double-digit margins on two of the highest priorities, including the top issue the economy, while Biden is preferred by smaller single-digit margins on ones that are somewhat less important to voters. 

“Even though Trump is the challenger and has had to negotiate a competitive primary, he has locked down almost all Republican partisans,” say Shaw. “The issue climate isn’t terrible for Biden here, but he has significant work to do to recover Democrats and traditionally Democratic constituencies. If he can’t improve his showing with African Americans and younger voters, he is heading toward a one-term presidency.”

In the Middle East conflict, Michigan voters are twice as likely to side with Israelis over Palestinians.

Looking at views among voting blocs show some of Biden’s challenges on this issue. While most Republicans side with Israel, Democrats split between Israelis and Palestinians, and liberals and young voters are more likely to favor Palestinians. 

Overall, Biden’s job rating in Michigan is negative by 12 points: 44% approve of his performance as president, while 56% disapprove. That’s a touch more positive than how he’s doing nationally. 

Fox News Poll

Michigan voters feel fairly positive about their finances, with over half saying their situation is holding steady or improving — and both of those groups heavily support Biden.

Some voters have concerns about Biden and Trump. 

A minority of Trump supporters, about 2 in 10, say it is at least somewhat likely that concerns about his legal problems could cause them to rethink voting for him.

That number is a it higher for Biden, as about 3 in 10 of his backers say it is at least somewhat likely worries about his mental soundness could make them reconsider their support.

Poll-pourri

Some 18% of Michiganders who voted for Biden in 2020 disapprove of the job he’s doing today and 12% don’t support him in the 2-way matchup against Trump. In fact, 6% of 2020 Biden voters currently back Trump.

One-third of voters who “somewhat” disapprove of Biden’s job performance still back him over Trump in the 2-way race. 

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Biden leads former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley by 9 points in the 5-way ballot test. Kennedy gets almost as much support as Haley in this scenario – in part because she only gets 50% of Republicans while 30% of them go for Kennedy.

Donald Trump wearing a red make america great again hat

Former President Donald Trump is the frontrunner in the GOP presidential primary race. (Sean Rayford)

It tightens to a 1-point Haley edge when it’s a head-to-head matchup.

Among the Republicans who identify as MAGA movement supporters (Above 4 in 10 Republicans), only 70% back Haley over Biden in the 2-way matchup, with 11% saying they woulnd’t vote.

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Over half of both Democrats and Republicans say they are extremely interested in the 2024 election.

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Conducted February 8-12, 2024 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with a sample of 1,106 Michigan registered voters randomly selected from a statewide voter file. Respondents spoke with live interviewers on landlines (202) and cellphones (626) or completed the survey online after receiving a text (278). Results based on the full sample have a margin of sampling error of ±3 percentage points. When necessary, weights are generally applied to age, race, education, and area variables to ensure the demographics of survey respondents are representative of the registered voter population.

Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.

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