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

SurveyMonkey poll: Young voters' red-state blue wall

Data: SurveyMonkey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

There are only five states in the U.S. where voters younger than 35 embrace President Trump over Joe Biden, and none are swing states, according to new 50-state SurveyMonkey-Tableau data for Axios.

Why it matters: These scattered red spots in a sea of blue vividly illustrate Trump's peril if young people were to actually turn out this year. Put another way, Trump's path to re-election depends heavily on younger adults staying home.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Poll shows strong backing for Biden's $2 trillion climate plan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new poll of nearly 1,000 likely voters suggests Joe Biden would have political wind at his back on the proposal on climate change if he wins and Democrats take the Senate.

Why it matters: 66% of likely voters support a plan to spend $2 trillion on clean energy and climate efforts, per this New York Times/Siena College poll.

The final debate

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.