The latest CBS battleground poll of Georgia and both Carolinas (and yes, all three are legit battleground states with four Senate races to boot) has good news for Biden-Harris and Team Blue.
Voters say the Supreme Court vacancy has added to the already high stakes of the presidential election.
In the battlegrounds of Georgia and North Carolina, most say it makes the election feel even more important — it's one more factor in an election in which most voters from both parties think their culture and way of life are at stake.
President Trump's voters here think the Democrats want society to change too fast, and Joe Biden's voters think Republicans want to go back to the past. The court fight may not be changing votes, since most were already locked in, but many describe it as adding even more motivation to the race. Both sides are about equally likely to say they'll vote (and some already have). In two contests that will turn almost entirely on turnout, that's essential.
And as important as the Supreme Court is, voters tell us it is just one of the major topics on their minds. Issues of race continue to split voters in these fast-growing, changing Southern states, and views on the protests are a major factor, too. The Black voters who make up sizable shares of the electorate here voice agreement with the Black Lives Matter movement, as do White Democrats, but the president's supporters say too much attention is being paid to discrimination against Black people today.
And it all adds up to a razor-thin horse race: Georgia remains a toss-up, with Mr. Trump up just a point; it favored Biden by a point this summer. North Carolina sees Biden up two; he had a four-point edge this summer.
In each state the president has consolidated support, maintains leads with non-college White voters and men, and is seen as better on the economy. Biden's support remains steady, bolstered by performing well with women and Black voters, and by improving on Democrats' 2016 performance among White women with college degrees.
It's a pattern across all the states we've been polling of late as we head into the first debate: Biden has not added to the big leads he had all summer, and things show a general, if slight, tightening toward the president's way overall.
Mr. Trump is up comfortably in neighboring South Carolina, but that state offers some real Senate drama of its own.
Biden winning either NC or Georgia would be the end of the Trump campaign, and both sides know it. Frankly, Biden being within a point in Georgia is the sword of Damocles hanging over Trump's orange head.
And here's the thing: if Biden wins Michigan, PA, and Wisconsin, all states where he has a much larger margin than in NC, he wins the electoral college even if Trump runs the table on the actual tossups.
Keep in mind as of this week, the actual tossups are all states Trump won in 2016 too: NC, GA, FL, OH, Iowa, and Arizona. Biden is set to win without any of those states, and yet he could take one or all six. Biden's lead in the national polls remains right at seven points, where it's been since mid-March, give or take a point.
And just past those six states? Texas. Biden's lead in PA is about the same as Trump's in the Lone Star State, 52-47 for Biden in PA, and 51-48% Trump in Texas, respectively.
I know I keep having Post-traumatic voter syndrome flashbacks to 2016, but the fact is with five weeks to go, Biden remains in a commanding position.
We have to make it happen. Get those votes in early.