Poll: Biden hanging on in Michigan just before election

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With the election looming, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is still ahead of President Donald Trump in Michigan, a new poll shows.

In the EPIC-MRA poll released Sunday morning, 48% of respondents said they would vote for Biden and 41% for Trump if the election was held immediately. Those figures have remained statistically unchanged since the summer.

Five percent of those polled said they would vote for a third party candidate, while 6% were undecided or declined to say who they would choose.

The poll also asked people how they felt Trump was doing as president. 56% gave him a negative job rating and 43% positive.

Opinions about Trump were more negative when respondents were asked about his specific behavior. Sixty-eight percent of respondents, for example, said his derisive comments about an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and agreement with the crowd’s chant to “lock her up” were inappropriate. Sixty-two percent said he didn’t have the temperament to be commander in chief. Fifty-seven percent said he would divide the country rather than unite it. Respondents were evenly split on whether he had the physical or mental health to be president.

There were some concerns about Biden, too, with 49% agreeing that he hadn’t done much during his long tenure in politics and half saying they thought he would let Democrats pursue policies that are too liberal. In addition, 49% said his physical and mental health weren’t good enough to be president.

In regards to coronavirus, more people were 54% said Trump wasn’t doing enough about the pandemic, while 54% also thought Biden would go too far in his response.

In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Gary Peters, a Democrat, continues to hold on to a narrow lead over Republican challenger John James. Of those polled, 47% said they would vote for Peters and 42% said James. That is a closer race than just a few weeks ago, and the difference is only one percentage point outside the poll’s plus-or-minus 4% margin of error.

Despite his lead, Peters had a 46% negative job rating, with 38% reviewing him positively.

A huge number of people in key battleground Michigan have already voted, with some 2.4 million absentee ballots cast around the time the poll was taken. Of those polled, 54% said they were going to vote absentee and indeed 39% of them already had. About 44% said they would in person on Nov. 3.

EPIC-MRA surveyed 600 people in Michigan between Oct. 25 and Oct. 28.

A little more than a third of respondents identified as conservatives, 39% said they were moderate and 18% identified as liberal. Forty-four percent said they were Democrats, 39% Republican and 14% independent; the remainder identified otherwise, declined to answer or were undecided.

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