Trump Church Photo May Backfire in Michigan: Campaign Update

(Bloomberg) -- The clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and federal riot police in front of the White House two weeks ago may have cost President Donald Trump support in the key state of Michigan, new polling suggests.

Pollster EPIC-MRA conducted two polls in Michigan in the days immediately before and after June 1, when national guard and police forces used pepper spray and smoke canisters to clear crowds from a plaza in front of the White House so Trump could pose for a photo at St. John’s Church. The first poll, conducted May 30 to June 3, had Democrat Joe Biden leading Trump by 12 percentage points. The second, which began and ended a day later, extended that lead to 16 points.

While those results are within the 4 point margin of error, pollster Bernie Porn told the Detroit Free Press that Trump’s church visit may have been a turning point.

“Things that happen in the news are what typically cause changes like this and the only thing you can point to that happened in the news was what happened on June 1,” said Porn, a pollster for EPIC-MRA. “I attribute the dramatic slide to more saturation of that news coverage,” he said.

In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes.


President Donald Trump is planning to resume his signature rallies with an event on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Democratic National Convention is scheduled for the week beginning Aug. 17 in Milwaukee, while the Republicans are slated to meet a week later with events in Charlotte, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida.

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