The New York Times / Siena College Battleground Poll: Michigan

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  • Biden 49% – Trump 41% Peters 49% – James 41%
  • 10/12: Biden 48% – Trump 40% Peters 43% – James 42%
  • 41% of Michiganders (61% of Dems, 24% of Reps) Have Already Voted

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. Former Vice President Joe Biden maintains an eight-point lead, 49-41 percent, over President Donald Trump in Michigan, virtually unchanged from 48-40 percent two weeks ago. And in the race for the U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Gary Peters leads Republican John James 49-41 percent, up from a near-tied 43-42 percent Peters lead earlier this month, according to The New York Times/Siena College polls of likely Michigan voters released today.

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“When it comes to the presidential race, not a whole lot has changed in the minds of Michigan voters over the last two weeks. Biden leads by eight points, same as two weeks ago, in this state that Trump carried four years ago by less than three-tenths of one percent,” said Don Levy, Director of the Siena College Research Institute. “Both continue to do extraordinarily well with voters of their party. Independents continue to support Biden but his margin is seven points, down from 17 points two weeks ago.

“The gender gap in Michigan is narrower than in several other battleground states, with Biden leading among women by 13 points and also edging out Trump with men 46-44 percent,” Levy said.

“Biden leads among Black voters, 84-4 percent. The two candidates divide the white vote, with Trump leading among whites without a college degree and Biden leading even more among those with a degree,” Levy said. “Voters 65 and over back Biden 59-36 percent and voters under 30 support him 65-15 percent.”

Biden has a 51-44 percent favorability rating, down a little from 54-42 percent two weeks ago. Trump’s favorability rating is negative 46-51 percent, virtually unchanged from 46-50 percent.

“Among the four in ten Michiganders who’ve already voted – which includes 61 percent of the state’s Democrats and only 24 percent of Republicans – support for Biden is overwhelming, 72-22 percent,” Levy said. “Among those who’ve not yet voted, Trump has a 21-point lead, 54-33 percent.”

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“Peters has opened a large single-digit lead – in fact, the exact same lead that Biden holds over Trump – over James, after being virtually tied,” Levy said. “Peters was able to convince some remaining Democrats to come back home and upped his support to 94 percent from 87 percent. He was also able to erase a six-point deficit with white voters and increase his lead among voters 65 and older to now 60-34 percent.

“Peters’ favorability rating, 49-35 percent, is a little better than James’ 44-38 percent favorability rating,” Levy said. “James was in the game as Republicans attempt to pick off a Democratic Senate seat, but Peters seems to now have momentum. Michigan Republicans have some ground to make up and not a lot of time.”

This New York Times/Siena College survey of Michigan was conducted October 23-26, 2020 by telephone calls in English to 856 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 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.