Nonetheless, the enthusiasm that Mr Trump inspires among his supporters remains a factor in the election. Linda Shoop, of Halifax, Pennsylvania, said she didn’t vote in 2016, but not for lack of preference: As a Trump supporter, Ms. Shoop has arthritis and problems getting around. Since postal voting was more widely available this year, she said she would vote for the president by mail.
“He’s got common sense,” said Ms. Shoop, describing him as more open than a longtime politician like Mr. Biden. The president, she said, “don’t lie to you. If he says he’s going to do something, he goes and he does it.”
If the president is defeated, the most obvious explanation may be his weakness towards women. Mr Biden led Mr Trump in double digits among female voters in each of the four states, and in some states the advantage was so significant that it could offset Mr Trump’s strength among men.
In Arizona, for example, the president was eight points ahead of men, but Mr Biden was the overwhelming favorite of women, winning 56 percent of them compared to Mr Trump’s 38 percent.
The other group driving Mr Biden are white college-educated voters, a traditionally Republican bloc that fled the Trump-era party. The former vice president leads double-digit numbers among white voters with college degrees in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona, beating him 48 to 45 percent with that constituency in Florida.
In Maricopa County, Arizona, home of Phoenix and its suburbs, Mr. Biden wins 48 percent of the vote, compared with 42 percent for Mr. Trump, according to the poll. In 2016, Mr. Trump won the county with three points.
Mr Biden is also poised to become the first Democrat in 20 years to promote older adults, the voters most at risk from the coronavirus. In Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, the former vice president leads double-digit numbers with senior voters. And in Florida and Arizona, where retirees live with more affluent and tax-phobic seniors, Mr Trump is effectively linked to Mr Biden among the senior voters, despite winning convincingly with them in both states in 2016.
The president remains controversial in Florida because of his support by working class whites and his achievements among Hispanic voters. He’s running more competitive with Florida Latinos than in 2016 and 9 percent of them go undecided.
Hispanic men in Florida in particular are more willing to support Mr Trump. The survey found that the two candidates split this group almost equally, with Mr Biden only one point ahead. But the president is facing an even bigger gender gap in the Hispanic community than overall: Latinas endorse Mr Biden by 39 points.