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Final NBC/Marist state polls show close races in Pennsylvania and Arizona

Biden has a narrow edge in Pennsylvania — within the poll's margin of error — and the candidates are tied in Arizona.
Campaign posters are displayed along the road on Oct. 24, 2020 in Taylor, Pa.Kena Betancur / AFP - Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Democrat Joe Biden holds a narrow lead over President Donald Trump in the all-important battleground state of Pennsylvania, while the two candidates are tied in Arizona, according to the final NBC News/Marist state polls of the 2020 presidential election.

In Pennsylvania, which Trump won four years ago, Biden is ahead by 5 points among likely voters, 51 percent to 46 percent, although that advantage is within that poll’s margin of error; a combined 3 percent say they’re undecided or are voting for someone else.

That’s down from Biden’s 9-point lead in the state in September’s NBC/Marist poll of the state.

Biden’s current 5-point edge in Pennsylvania is consistent with other recent high-quality public polls of the state, which show the former Democratic vice president ahead in the mid-single digits.

In Arizona, which Trump won by more than 3 points in 2016, the candidates are tied at 48 percent each among likely voters, with a combined 4 percent undecided or voting for someone else.

(Among all registered voters in the state, it’s Biden 48 percent, Trump 47 percent — down from Biden’s 5-point lead in July.)

Most other recent public polling in Arizona shows Biden with a slight lead, though within the margin of error.

In both battlegrounds, Biden enjoys an advantage among those who have already voted. In Arizona, 76 percent of likely voters say they have already cast ballots, and Biden is ahead with them, 56 percent to 42 percent. But among the 24 percent yet to vote in the state, Trump leads, 66 percent to 26 percent.

And in Pennsylvania, 32 percent of likely voters say they had already cast ballots, and they’re breaking for Biden, 81 percent to 18 percent. But among the 68 percent of likely voters in the Keystone State who’ve yet to vote, it’s Trump 58 percent, Biden 38 percent.

Biden also is overperforming with white voters, seniors and independents in both states, as other polling has reflected. But Trump is overperforming with non-white voters in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Measuring Trump’s job rating

In Pennsylvania, 46 percent of likely voters say they approve of Trump’s performance as president, while 51 percent disapprove — exactly matching the head-to-head ballot numbers in the state.

By comparison, the approval rating for Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is 52 percent approve, 39 percent disapprove.

And in Arizona, Trump’s job rating among likely voters stands at 47 percent approve, 48 percent disapprove. The job rating for Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey is 46 percent approve, 43 percent disapprove.

Democrat Mark Kelly leads in Arizona Senate race

Finally, in Arizona’s competitive Senate race, the NBC News/Marist poll of the state finds Democrat Mark Kelly ahead of appointed Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., by 6 points among likely voters, 52 percent to 46 percent.

Among all registered voters, it’s Kelly 52 percent, McSally 45 percent — down from Kelly’s 12-point lead in July.

The NBC/Marist poll of Arizona was conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 1 of 717 likely voters (which has a margin of error of plus-minus 4.5 percentage points), 988 registered voters (plus-minus 3.9 percentage points) and 1,082 adults (plus-minus 3.7 percentage points).

The NBC/Marist poll of Pennsylvania was conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 1 of 772 likely voters (plus-minus 4.4 percentage points), 1,020 registered voters (plus-minus 3.8 percentage points) and 1,106 adults (plus-minus 3.6 percentage points).