We have some intriguing new data out of one of the crucial swing states that handed Trump the presidency three years ago. The incumbent's path to re-election almost certainly runs through Wisconsin, and may in fact be shaping up as the single most important battleground on the entire 2020 map. The Democrats are so focused on winning back the Badger State that they're holding their nominating convention in Milwaukee, a clear departure from the Clinton campaign's infamous inattention to the state. According to a fresh survey from Fox News, the president's standing in Wisconsin is not solid:
Fox News Poll: All of the big three are leading Trump in a 2020 matchup in Wisconsin, with Biden well ahead of Trump.— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 6, 2019
And, once again, Trump can't get it up above 41% against anyone at the moment. pic.twitter.com/pyEDsQw2f4
Wisconsin voters are unhappy with how things are going in the country, oppose the border wall, think tariffs hurt the economy, and disapprove of the job President Trump is doing. That gives Democratic candidates the lead in each of the possible 2020 matchups tested in a Fox News Poll of Wisconsin registered voters... Currently, 44 percent of Badger State voters approve of the job Trump is doing and 54 percent disapprove.
Two caveats: First, the polls misfired badly in Wisconsin last cycle. The final Real Clear Politics (Hillary +6.5) average was off by seven percentage points. Trump did not lead in a single public poll of the state, ever. Then he won it. That's a grain of salt warning, though it shouldn't be relied upon too heavily by Trump supporters, for many of these reasons. Second, it's far too early to put much stock in head-to-head match-ups, which don't have much predictive value this far out from an election. That being said, respected GOP pollster and Fox News contributor Kristen Soltis Anderson explained on my radio show last week that while hypothetical head-to-head margins don't really matter right now, the level of support for an incumbent candidate can be instructive. Trump languishing around 40 percent is obviously a major red flag and underscores an argument I've made several times.
This poll is good news for Joe Biden. It bolsters his general election-focused case to primary voters, showing that he's by far the best situated would-be nominee against the president, and it shows him leading Wisconsin's primary field: "In the race for the Democratic nomination, Biden is the top choice with 28 percent support, followed by Warren at 22 percent, and Sanders at 17 percent," Fox reports. "Democratic primary voters place far greater importance on beating Trump than voting for their preferred candidate (52-33 percent)." In another new Fox poll, Biden also has a commanding lead in the South Carolina primary, with the internals reflecting an ongoing struggle for Elizabeth Warren:
Warren has centered her SC messaging on wooing black *women* // in SC, she’s losing them to Biden, 47-8% in new Fox poll. pic.twitter.com/3NEm6xQNjj— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) October 6, 2019
UPDATE - This new poll contains some positive news for President Trump with independent voters, among whom he's nearly erased his large deficit against Joe Biden, and now leads Elizabeth Warren.