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Supporters outside the Amtrak station in Latrobe, Pa., for Biden. Photo: Jeff Swensen/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Joe Biden now has a 12-point lead over President Trump in Pennsylvania, according to a Monmouth University poll out Tuesday, which also found that a majority of voters in the battleground state think Biden better understands their daily concerns.

Why it matters: It's more bad news for Trump, whose re-election efforts have hinged on winning Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes. Biden's current lead is a significant improvement from his four-point lead in last month's Monmouth poll.

  • Biden is visiting Pennsylvania today, with plans to give remarks in Gettysburg later this afternoon.
  • Last week, Biden hosted a whistle-stop Amtrak tour through the state highlighting his "Build Back Better" economic recovery plan.

By the numbers: 54% of registered voters in Pennsylvania support Biden, compared to 42% who are backing President Trump.

  • 60% of voters think Biden at least somewhat understands their day-to-day concerns.
  • There was little movement before and after Trump's announcement that he tested positive for COVID-19, the poll found. Voters still trust Biden more when it comes to handling the pandemic and health care.
  • And while Trump continues to lead Biden on the economy, slightly more voters now say they believe Biden will strengthen the economy and create jobs (41%, up from 37% before Friday).

Between the lines: Monmouth's poll found Biden with a slight advantage on which candidate voters feel better handles "law and order" — 45% to Trump's 41%.

  • Previously, Trump campaign officials felt hopeful that the president's "law and order" rhetoric was helping in Pennsylvania, specifically — aides thought — with the state's white, working-class voters.

Be smart: A decisive Biden win in Pennsylvania would likely help Democrats avoid major post-election litigation, Axios' Stef Kight writes:

  • Pennsylvania is already at the center of election-related legal battles since it could decide the election and has had very little experience with mass vote-by-mail. (Just 4% of ballots were cast by mail in 2018.)
  • In order for there to be meaningful lawsuits over ballot counts after the election, there either has to be a massive election failure (like a cyber attack) or it has to be a razor-thin election — within a few thousand ballots, elections experts say.
  • There’s less incentive for suing over whether or not to count certain ballots if it won’t change the outcome.

Methodology: The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, 2020 with a statewide random sample of 500 Pennsylvania voters drawn from a list of registered voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

Go deeper: Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Go deeper

Scoop: Top Biden aide's "f--ker" quote under fire

Photo: Andre Chung for the Washington Post via Getty Images

Some advisers close to President-elect Joe Biden are frustrated over a Glamour magazine interview in which incoming White House deputy chief of staff Jen O'Malley Dillon referred to Republicans on Capitol Hill as "f--kers."

Why it matters: Biden campaigned for the presidency by promising to "restore the soul of America" and not to question the motives of political opponents, whom he insists aren't enemies. Fighting words from a high-level staffer could give Republicans ammunition to cast doubt on Biden's sincerity.

Updated Jan 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump becomes first president to be impeached twice

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House voted 232-197 to impeach President Trump for “incitement of insurrection" after a violent pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol last week while Congress met to count the Electoral College vote.

Why it matters: Trump is now the only president in history to have been impeached twice — his first impeachment happened just over a year ago in December of 2019. He has just one week left in his term before President-elect Biden is sworn-in on Jan. 20.

Reports: CIA finds "Havana Syndrome" unlikely caused by foreign campaign

CIA Director William Burns testifies during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill last April. Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

A preliminary CIA report rules out a foreign global campaign as the cause of American and Canadian diplomats affected by a mysterious illness known as "Havana syndrome," per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Some lawmakers had suggested the sometimes debilitating illness was due to directed energy attacks. But CIA officials told the New York Times that most of the 1,000 cases reported to the government could be "explained by environmental causes, undiagnosed medical conditions or stress." This finding has angered some victims, per the NYT.