Quinnipiac Poll: 2020 Dems narrowly top Trump; Prez still underwater | Friday Morning Coffee

February 21, 2020 7:06 am

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden would like to win Pennsylvania in 2020 (Capital-Star file)

Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Former Vice President Joe Biden might be struggling to catch U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in national polls. But in Pennsylvania, where Biden’s roots run deep, it’s comparably blue skies, according to a new poll.

Biden tops President Donald Trump 50-42 percent in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday; while Sanders has a 48-44 percent, advantage according to the Hamden, Conn.-based university’s survey of 849 registered Keystone State voters.

The poll put all the 2020 Dems narrowly in the lead against Trump in Pennsylvania. The Republican carried the commonwealth by 44,000 votes, or a little less than a percentage point, in 2016.

Here’s how the rest of the field broke down:

  • U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., led Trump 49-42 percent;
  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg led Trump 48 – 42 percent;
  • Former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg edged Trump  47-43 percent, and
  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren leads Trump 47-44 percent, pollsters found.

Biden was the top choice among Democratic primary voters in Pennsylvania, taking 22 percent of the vote in hypothetical head-to-head matches in a poll last month by Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.The Quinnipiac survey, conducted from Feb. 12-18, started right after Sanders won the New Hampshire primary. It also reflects the momentum that Buttigieg and Klobuchar picked up coming out of the Granite State contest. Voters in Nevada have already begun early voting in a caucus that formally wraps up on Saturday.

The Quinnipiac poll also took the pulse of voters in two more key states: Michigan and Wisconsin. The Pennsylvania sample had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

Read on for more poll wonkiness …

President Donald Trump waves as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House after disembarking Marine One Tuesday, July 30, 2019, following his trip to Williamsburg, Va. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour, Flickr Commons)

According to the Quinnipiac canvass, Trump has a split favorability rating in Wisconsin with 50 percent of voters saying they have a favorable opinion of him, while 47 percent say they have an unfavorable opinion of him. In Michigan and Pennsylvania, the president is negatively viewed by more than half of registered voters.

But before Dems start crowing, the poll also found that the 2020 primary field is mostly negatively viewed by voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

“Between President Trump and the Democratic presidential candidates, voters aren’t showing much enthusiasm about any candidate. Getting a split favorability rating is the high water mark,” Quinnipiac pollster Mary Snow said in a statement.

When it comes to the issues, Pennsylvania voters put the economy at the front of the list at 39 percent; while 26 percent listed health care and 13 percent said climate change was their motivating issue of the campaign.

As was the case with that Franklin & Marshall College poll, Trump’s approval rating is underwater in Pennsylvania, with voters disapproving 52-44 percent, according to Quinnipiac’s canvass.

About two in five respondents (38 percent) to the F&M poll said Trump was doing a “good” or “excellent” job, compared to 61 percent who gave him poor marks.

Pennsylvania’s primary is April 28, which is starting to feel like an eternity away these days.

Our Stuff.
The first big story in the #PurpleStates project, a joint venture between the Capital-Star, and our sibling properties, the Michigan AdvanceOhio Capital Journal and Wisconsin Examiner, launches this morning, with a look at the state of manufacturing in the 2020 battelground states.

Speaking of which, in a new analysis, Capital-Star Correspondent Nick Field looks at the impact that trade could have on the 2020 field.

The strong economy has fueled a drop in college students seeking grants from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance AgencyElizabeth Hardison reports.

Democrat Debra Wachspress, who was running against Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in Bucks County’s 1st Districthas denied allegations in a lawsuit that she made racist and homophobic remarks while serving as a member of a local school board. By day’s end Thursday, Wachspress had ended her candidacy.

Speaking of Fitzpatrickhe tops a new rankings list that finds him the most bipartisan member of Congress. He’s also running in one of the most highly targeted seats in the country, so there is some incentive, as Capital-Star Washington Reporter Allison Stevens points out.

From our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune: A Philadelphia museum founder has stepped up to run for the Pa. House seat being vacated by long-serving Democratic Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood. And Philly’s fashion industry has called on City Council to form a Fashion Industry Task Force.

On our Commentary Page, Marie Menke of the University of Pittsburgh explains why the U.S. birth rate keeps dropping. 

En la Estrella-Capital, un distrito escolar del oeste de Pensilvania se quedó sin papel Eso es todo lo que necesitas saber sobre el financiamiento de la escuela en Pensilvania, por Kim Lyons. Y propaganda de la supremacía blanca en el 2019, por Cassie Miller.

Photo via pxHere

The Philadelphia public schools are overpaying charter schools by millions of dollars for special education students, the Inquirer reports.
Allegheny County’s Democratic chairwoman says committee members were wearing Trump hats ‘as a joke,‘ Pittsburgh City Paper reports.
This week’s bankruptcy filing could force the Harrisburg Catholic diocese to throw open a ‘secret’ archive of sex abuse casesPennLive reports (paywall).
A judge has sentenced a man who shot a Pennsylvania State Police trooper in Northampton county to 53- to 110 1/2-years in prison, the Morning Call reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

In the wake of a quadruple shooting in North Philly, a rapid response team is looking to prevent future incidents of violenceWHYY-FM reports. 
The ACLU has sued over a traffic stop in Jim Thorpe, Pa., WITF-FM reports.
State officials are warning that new federal hemp rules could hurt the emerging reports.
A New York man has been arrested for threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., over the impeachment trial, Roll Call reports.

What Goes On.
10 a.m.: 
The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee holds a 10 a.m. public hearing on the impact that a cap-and-trade program can have on the state’s coal refuse industry. That happens at 10 a.m. at the Strand Theatre in McAdoo, Schuylkill County.
11 a.m.: The House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee holds a public hearing on bills aimed at preventing elder abuse. It happens at the New Hope/Eagle Fire Co. in New Hope, Bucks County.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out in advance this morning to one of the best, kindest and truest people we know: Capital-Star Opinion contributor Lloyd Sheaffer, who rings in another year on Saturday. With any luck, he’ll be celebrating it with family on one of his trademark exotic vacations. Congratulations, sir. And thanks for so many years of friendship and mentorship. May Saturday be a seriously fabulous day for you and yours.

Heavy Rotation.
Set phasers for ‘Mojitos.’ Here’s some seriously chill Brazilian lounge music from Jairzinho Oliviera. The tune is called ‘Papo de Psicologo.’ 

Friday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin
 is just one goal shy of 700 after the Capitals’ Thursday night loss to MontrealLes Habitents squeaked by with a 4-3 win.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.