Poll: Trump and Biden deadlocked in Iowa

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A poll out Tuesday shows President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden locked in a tie in Iowa, a state Trump carried by 9 percentage points in 2016.

The survey from The Des Moines Register and Mediacom Iowa shows both candidates receiving support from 47 percent of likely voters surveyed just six weeks from Election Day. The poll was conducted prior to the death on Friday of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose replacement on the bench has quickly emerged as a top campaign issue.

The poll found that 4 percent of likely voters would vote for a third candidate, with another 3 percent of likely voters undecided.

Trump flipped Iowa, which had voted twice for President Barack Obama, defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton there by a 51-42 margin in 2016. A previous Des Moines Register poll in June has shown a consistently tight race, with Trump leading Biden, 44 percent to 43 percent.

Tuesday’s poll showed a race defined by a dramatic gender gap of more than 40 percentage points. While Trump leads among men in Iowa by 21 points, Biden leads women by a similar margin, 20 points. According to CNN exit polling in Iowa in 2016, Clinton carried Iowa women by only 7 points.

It also found that Biden appears to have reversed Trump’s advantage with independents, a group Trump won by 13 percentage points in 2016, according to CNN exit polling. Now, the president is losing independent voters to Biden 50-38, a 12-point gap.

The poll found a bright spot for the president on his signature issue, the economy. More than 4 in 10 Iowans surveyed responded that they are better off financially than they were four years ago, in spite of the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, compared with 15 percent of Iowans who said they are worse off financially and 43 percent who said they are about the same.

But only a quarter of Iowans said the nation is headed on the right track, compared with nearly two-thirds, 64 percent, who say the country has gotten off course. That’s down from a near-even split in March.

The tight race in Iowa stands to make November’s election even more competitive, as polls show Biden ahead in several other swing states necessary for Trump’s reelection. The close presidential race in Iowa mirrors a similarly tight Senate race, which is sure to become even more important in light of the Supreme Court vacancy that Senate Republicans have pledged to fill before Nov. 3.

The Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll was conducted Sept. 14-17 and includes responses from 803 Iowa adults, including 658 likely voters. Results from the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 3. 5 percentage points, while results from likely voters have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

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