Biden's lead in Michigan narrows, Trump's support flat in Detroit News/WDIV poll

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Another close race for president is shaping up in Michigan as Democrat Joe Biden's lead over President Donald Trump now stands at 5 percentage points in a new statewide poll released Tuesday by The Detroit News and WDIV. 

With two months remaining before the Nov. 3 election, Biden led the Republican incumbent 47% to 42%, according to the poll of 600 likely state voters over the first three days of September and after the end of the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

For subscribers: Details, crosstabs, takeaways from latest Michigan presidential poll

The former vice president's advantage was just outside the poll's margin of error of plus-minus 4 percentage points but was slightly lower than the 7-point lead a similar poll gave him in January before he became the Democratic nominee.

Both polls — eight months apart with one before and one after the COVID-19 pandemic hit — found Trump to have similar levels of support in Michigan: He was at 43% support in early January; and he's at 42% in early September. 

The survey found 7% of Michigan voters to be undecided in the presidential election, 1% to support a third-party candidate and 3% declined to answer.

The results came as both Biden and Trump this week are slated to visit in Michigan. On Wednesday, Biden will stop in the state for the first time since the Democratic presidential primary on March 10. His campaign hasn't released details about what he'll be doing.

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Trump will speak Thursday night at an airport hangar in Freeland near Saginaw. Biden's wife Jill has scheduled a Thursday Zoom call that the Biden campaign has indicated will be focused on Oakland County and is part of Jill Biden's national “Back To School Tour, but no other details were released.

Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by 47.5%-47.3% or by 10,704 votes in Michigan in 2016, his closest margin of victory nationally. He became the first GOP presidential nominee to carry the state since 1988.