The Cook Political Report on Thursday moved Arizona from its toss-up column to “lean Democrat” in the presidential race between Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and incumbent President Donald Trump after a new poll showed the former vice president opening up a 5-point lead over Trump in the state.
The election handicapper’s decision to shift Arizona toward Biden came amid mounting signs that the state is slipping away from Trump despite his narrow 3.5-point win there four years ago.
A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Cook Political Report out Thursday showed Biden leading Trump 45-40 percent, giving the Democratic nominee a more substantial advantage than in other battleground states like Florida and North Carolina.
The poll shows some troubling signs for Trump’s reelection bid. Republican voters in the state aren’t as firm in their support of Trump, with only about 73 percent saying they will definitely vote for the president in November. Another 9 percent said they will either probably or definitely cast their ballot for Biden.
Trump’s support among Latinos in Arizona is also lagging. The poll showed him garnering just 17 percent support among those voters to Biden’s 55 percent. In 2016, Trump captured 31 percent of the Latino vote in Arizona.
Trump’s trouble in Arizona also owes in part to defections by suburban voters in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and its suburbs. Biden now leads there by 6 points, according to the KFF-Cook poll. Trump won the county in 2016 by about 3 points.
If Biden wins Arizona in November, it would significantly ease his path to 270 electoral votes. He could afford to lose in other battleground states like Wisconsin or Michigan and still capture the White House, as long as he carries the other states that Hillary Clinton captured in 2016.