The New York Times / Siena College Battleground Polls: Arizona, Maine, North Carolina

stickers for voting
  • Arizona: Biden 49% – Trump 40% | Kelly 50% – McSally 42%
  • Maine: Biden 55% – Trump 38% | Gideon 49% – Collins 44%
  • North Carolina: Biden 45% – Trump 44% | Cunningham 42% – Tillis 37%

Loudonville, NY. Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by 17 points in Maine and nine points in Arizona. Only one point separates the two in North Carolina, according to The New York Times/Siena College polls of likely voters in those states released today. In the battle for the U.S. Senate, Democratic challengers lead incumbent Republicans in all three states: Arizona, where Mark Kelly leads Martha McSally by eight points, Maine, where Sara Gideon leads Susan Collins by five points, and North Carolina, where Cal Cunningham leads Tom Tillis by five points.

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“Looking at two key presidential battleground states that Trump won in 2016, shows two different pictures. In Arizona, Biden leads by nine points and in North Carolina the two are within a point,” said Don Levy, Director of the Siena College Research Institute.

“In three key U.S. Senate races that will help determine control of the Senate in 2021, the Democratic challengers have five- to nine-point leads over their incumbent Republicans.”

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Arizona Voters Give Large Single-Digit Leads to Both Biden & Kelly
“In 2016, Trump carried Arizona by 3.5 points over Hillary Clinton. Less than seven weeks from election day, Biden has a significant nine-point lead,” Levy said. “While men are closely divided, women favor Biden by 17 points. White voters are evenly divided – those with a college degree favor Biden by 15 points, those without favor Trump by 11 points – however, Latinos favor Biden 57-26 percent.

“In the Senate race, Kelly, like Biden, is close to break-even with men and has a double-digit lead with women. While McSally has a three-point edge with whites, Latinos favor Kelly two-to-one,” Levy said.

Biden Holds Huge Lead in Maine, While Gideon is Up 5 Points Over Collins

“Biden leads Trump by 17 points in a state that Trump only lost by three points in 2016. Biden leads by six points with men and 26 points with women. He leads by 24 points with voters 65 and older. Trump only trails by a narrow three points among whites without a college degree, however, Biden leads 66-28 percent with white voters that have a college degree,” Levy said. “While 84 percent of Republicans back Trump, he only has the support of one percent of Democrats, and independents favor Biden two-to-one.

“Gideon and Collins are evenly dividing the men’s votes and Gideon holds a seven-point lead with women. Each does extraordinarily well holding on to voters of their party, and Gideon holds an eight-point lead with independents. Voters over 45 give a slight edge to Collins but those under 45 favor Gideon by nearly 20 points,” Levy said.

North Carolina On Way to a Tight Presidential Finish Again; Cunningham Over Tillis By 5 Points

“Four years ago, Trump carried the Tar Heel State by 3.6 points and currently he and Biden are locked in a dogfight. Unlike many other states that have significant gender gaps, that doesn’t exist here as men and women are both equally divided,” Levy said. “White voters strongly back Trump 56-34 percent, while Black voters support Biden 86-2 percent. Each candidate has the support of nine in ten members of their party and independent voters lean toward Biden ever so slightly, 42-39 percent.

“In the race for the Senate, one in five voters is either undecided or favoring a minor party candidate. So, while Cunningham holds a five-point lead, he is well below 50 percent and there are a lot of voters who have yet to decide. Cunningham does a little better holding Democrats than Tillis does with Republicans, and Cunningham holds an eight-point lead with independents,” Levy said.

Maine Says Pandemic Is More Important Issue; Other Two Say Law and Order by 5 to 9 Points

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“A bare majority of voters in North Carolina and Arizona say law and order is a more important issue in the presidential race than the coronavirus pandemic,” Levy said. “Maine voters, however, by a 10-point margin say the pandemic is more important.”

51% in AZ, ME & NC Say Racism in Criminal Justice Is Bigger Problem than Riots

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“A small but significant majority of voters in North Carolina, Maine and Arizona say that racism in the criminal justice system is a bigger problem facing the country than riots in American cities – thanks to that view being shared by independents in all three states,” Levy said.

Odds & Ends from Siena College Poll Director Dr. Don Levy:

  • “Biden may lead in Arizona and Maine, and be tied in North Carolina, but when voters are asked who they think will win, they shift in Trump’s direction by 13 to 17 points. North Carolinians expect ‘four more years.’ And even in Arizona, where Biden leads by nine points, voters think the President will win re-election 47-44 percent. Only in Maine where Biden leads by 17 points does the voters’ crystal ball point to a coin flip outcome for the next President.”
  • “Kelly leads the Arizona Senate race by eight points, and by a six-point margin, voters want to see Democrats control the Senate. Maine voters favor Gideon by five points but want to see Democrats control the Senate by 12 points. North Carolinians side with Democrat Cunningham by five points but are rooting for a Republican Senate by four points.”
  • “Of these three states, only one Arizona do more than half of voters say they plan to vote by mail. About half of Mainers say they plan to vote in person on election day. In North Carolina, about two-fifths plan to vote in person on election day, two-fifths plan to vote in person early, and the final fifth plans to vote by mail.”

This New York Times/Siena College survey of Arizona was conducted September 10-15, 2020 by telephone calls in English and Spanish to 653 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points. The survey of Maine was conducted September 11-16, 2020 by telephone calls in English to 663 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percentage points. The survey of North Carolina was conducted September 11-16, 2020 by telephone calls in English and Spanish to 653 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points. Calls were made to a stratified weighted sample of voters from the L-2 Voter list via both land and cell phones. The data was weighted by party, age, race/ethnicity, education, region, gender and voter likelihood, a computed score that combines voter history, stated voter likelihood and modeled turnout by respondent. Polling support for this project provided by Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College, M. Davis and Co., Reconnaissance Market Research, and The Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social, and cultural research. SCRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, please call Don Levy at 518-944-0482. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at: For additional methodological information, click here.