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Biden’s Lead Across the Battleground States Begins to Narrow According to CNBC/Change Research “States of Play” Poll

Latest CNBC/Change Research Poll Shows Sixty-Eight Percent of Likely Battleground Voters Have Already Voted Ahead of Election Day

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., November 3, 2020 – As the 2020 election draws to a close, the race for President of the United States is tightening in at least three crucial states, according to the latest CNBC and Change Research joint "States of Play" poll.

The poll, conducted October 29-November 1, shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading (50% vs. 46%) across all six major battleground states (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin), a position he has held since mid-summer. Biden's lead, however, is narrowing in some states, most of which are tied within the margin of error. Since the last CNBC/Change Research poll two weeks ago, President Donald Trump has picked up three points in Florida (51% Biden vs. 48% Trump), two points in Arizona (50% Biden vs. 47% Trump) and one point in Wisconsin (53% Biden vs. 45% Trump).

When it comes to the issues, more likely battleground voters approve of President Trump's handling of the economy than those who disapprove (51% vs. 49%) and it is the only area where he is trusted more than Biden and Democrats in the battleground. Forty-two percent of likely voters cite Trump's accomplishments on the economy and jobs as the single most important reason to support him. Likely battleground voters think Biden and Democrats would do a better job handling coronavirus, besting Trump and Republicans by six points (53% Biden vs. 47% Trump), while 54% disapprove of the President's response to the outbreak and 56% disapprove of his large campaign rallies.

However, more than half of likely battleground voters who support Biden say they are mostly voting against Donald Trump (54%) rather than voting for Biden (46%).

CNBC and Change Research polled more than 3,300 likely general election voters from the six previously noted battleground states, as well as over 1,850 likely general election voters nationally, to determine economic sentiment amongst voters. Additional key findings from the most recent CNBC/Change Research "States of Play" poll include:

  • Nearly seven out of ten likely battleground voters (68%) say they have already voted.
  • Early voting was the highest in Arizona (85%), followed closely by Florida (82%) and North Carolina (81%) while only 40% of likely voters in Pennsylvania have voted early.
  • The majority (56%) of likely battleground voters say they decided who they were going to vote over a year ago.
  • When asked when respondents believe we will know who won the presidential election, 29% of likely battleground voters say we will know on election night, 32% say within a few days, 18% say more than a week, and 2% say never.
  • Likely battleground voters are more concerned about the potential of left-wing protests and violence after the election (63% concerned) than they are concerned about possible right-wing protests and violence (56% concerned).
  • If Donald Trump were to maintain his seat as commander in chief, 28% of Biden voters in the battleground said they would consider leaving the country versus the 12% of Trump voters who said they would consider leaving the country if Biden was elected.
  • Two-thirds of likely battleground voters approve of the job Dr. Anthony Fauci is doing handling the coronavirus, even as President Trump publicly suggested he may fire him after the election.

CNBC Washington Correspondent Eamon Javers and Reporter Ylan Mui will reveal the results of the CNBC/Change Research "States of Play Poll" today, Tuesday, November 3 throughout CNBC's Business Day programming and throughout the night as part of the network's election coverage, beginning with a special edition of "The News with Shepard Smith" at 7pm ET followed by "Your Money, Your Vote" from 8pm-5am ET. Additional reporting of the results will take place on-air and online during the week.

For more information on the survey including the full results and methodology and in-depth articles, go to:


Between October 29-November 1, 2020, Change Research surveyed 1,880 likely general election voters nationally and 3,328 likely general election voters in the battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The margin of error as traditionally calculated among the national sample is ±2.26% and among the battleground sample is ±1.7%. Change Research reaches voters via targeted online ads that point people to an online survey instrument. Its Dynamic Online Sampling establishes and continuously rebalances advertising targets across region, age, gender, race, and partisanship to dynamically deliver large samples that accurately reflect the demographics of a population. In the national survey and the survey of battleground states, post-stratification was done on gender, age, region, education, race, and 2016 presidential vote.

For additional methodological information, visit

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