Mason-Dixon: Trump's more popular than most Dems in these "key swing states"

Just how much trouble could this Mason-Dixon poll mean if it holds up over time? Unless Democrats nominate Joe Biden, they might have to concede Florida to Trump right off the bat. And that might not be the only state, if another Mason-Dixon survey holds up.

Of course, it’s not November 2020 yet, but … it is now 2020:

Statewide, Biden holds a narrow lead over Trump, with 47% of Florida voters backing him, 45% supporting the president and 8% undecided.

Trump currently has a clear advantage over his other top potential Democratic challengers. Statewide, Trump crushes Elizabeth Warren (51%-42%), has a relatively comfortable margin over Bernie Sanders (49%-44%) and a slimmer lead over Pete Buttigeig (49%-45%).

It’s not that Trump is wildly popular in Florida. It’s that no one is, and Democrats are looking at the worst of it, except Biden:

Those are not good numbers — not for anyone, of course, but particularly for Democrats not named Joe Biden. Bernie’s at majority disapproval, something Trump hasn’t achieved in the Mason-Dixon poll, although he comes close. Elizabeth Warren comes slightly closer, but trails on approval by double digits. Mayor Pete has the most upside in these numbers, but he’s been on stage for months and doesn’t appear to be making many inroads in the Sunshine State.

Trump won Florida in 2016, and while losing it again won’t lock out Democrats from the White House, it makes their path a lot more complicated. But what if Trump won a state Hillary Clinton managed to win — easily? A Mason-Dixon poll earlier this week sent up a warning flare about Virginia, a state that’s not only gone blue three straight presidential races but also down-ballot, too:

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the only Democratic presidential hopeful currently outpacing President Donald Trump in Virginia, according to a new year-end survey.

Trump edges three other top-tier Democrats — Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, according to a poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy.

All of the results are within the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The results indicate that while Virginia has evolved from a red state, to a swing state, to one that now leans blue, “Democrats cannot completely take Virginia for granted,” said Brad Coker, CEO and managing director of the polling and consulting organization.

This is almost a replay of Florida, except that Biden’s a bit more popular in this case:

Hoo boy. Despite the favorability disparity (+18 to -3), Biden only leads Trump by four points in this Virginia poll — right at the margin of error. Trump leads Sanders by six, Warren by four, and Buttigieg by two … in a state Hillary Clinton took by five points three years ago, in an electorate with a DRI split in the exit polls of 40/33/26. This survey has a DRI sample split of … 42/30/28.

Nevertheless, count Guy Benson as “a bit skeptical,” at least as far as Virginia is concerned:

Color me a little bit skeptical, for a few reasons: First, Hillary Clinton didn’t narrowly squeak by in Virginia back in 2016; she won it by a relatively comfortable five-point margin. Second, I’m not sure there’s a state that’s been sliding faster from red to purple to blue in the entire country. In fact, an anti-Trump backlash in the Old Dominion has wiped out the Republican Party in all of northern Virginia, and both legislative chambers flipped to Democratic control in the recent off-year elections. Democrats also control all major statewide offices, including both US Senate seats. Third, on top of all of that, a blue wave crashed across Virginia in both 2018 and 2019 — with the latter gains coming in spite of a blackface scandal engulfing the Democratic Governor and Attorney General (having an embarrassingly compliant and biased media helps, of course), and amid serious allegations of sexual assault against the Democratic Lt. Governor.

True, plus it’s also early yet, so it’s tough to know how Trump will do against a more unified base in Virginia. However, it’s also true that impeachment might well cut across all those anti-Trump gains made by Democrats in Virginia in the last three years, too. All of those gains took place before Democrats actually pulled the pin on an impeachment grenade. In a national election — not a state/local election — that could generate a backlash, and that may well be what Mason-Dixon is seeing in both states.