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Swing-state voters favor Trump over Biden on China, support shielding businesses from lawsuits

Voters in nine battleground states trust President Trump more than Democrat Joseph R. Biden to hold China accountable for the coronavirus crisis, and they overwhelmingly support Republicans’ proposal to shield small businesses from lawsuits related to the pandemic, according to a new poll obtained exclusively by The Washington Times. As the president weighs sanctions against…

Swing-state voters favor Trump over Biden on China, support shielding businesses from lawsuits

Voters in nine battleground states trust President Trump more than Democrat Joseph R. Biden to hold China accountable for the coronavirus crisis, and they overwhelmingly support Republicans’ proposal to shield small businesses from lawsuits related to the pandemic, according to a new poll obtained exclusively by The Washington Times.

As the president weighs sanctions against Beijing this week for its crackdown on Hong Kong, the survey for America First Policies found that 57% of voters in these key swing states also favor punishing China for its role in the coronavirus outbreak that has killed nearly 100,000 Americans and battered the U.S. economy. The nonprofit group promotes policies aligned with Mr. Trump’s agenda, and is affiliated with the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.

Voters gave Mr. Trump a 17-point advantage over the presumptive Democratic nominee, 50% to 33%, on being better able to stand up to China and hold it accountable for spreading the virus. Three out of four voters have a negative view of China.

The Trump campaign plans to keep attacking Mr. Biden through Election Day for being soft on China. America First Action also is airing ads in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin criticizing the former vice president for outsourcing jobs to China.

“The American public does blame China for this virus, and their trust in China is at an all-time low,” said Kelly Sadler, communications director for America First.

The poll was conducted in states expected to decide the November contest — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The breakdown of respondents was 38% Republicans, 38% Democrats and 24% independents, said pollster Adam Geller.

The president traveled to Florida on Wednesday to watch America’s first space launch in nearly a decade. The Republican National Committee said the event also served as “a stark reminder that if Joe Biden had his way, our country would capitulate to China in space.”

Mr. Trump is increasingly leaving the confines of the White House while urging governors to allow more businesses to reopen.

And as states reopen, Senate Republicans and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are pushing for a law to protect businesses from lawsuits related to the possible spread of the virus among workers and customers. In the America First survey, 74% of respondents in swing states support liability protections for responsible small businesses, health-care workers and others on the front lines of the pandemic.

The Chamber joined more than 200 trade associations and other groups on Wednesday in calling for Congress to provide temporary liability protections.

“Temporary, targeted and timely liability relief is critical as employers work to keep their employees and customers safe and reopen their doors as America moves towards recovering from this crisis,” said Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer. “Businesses who follow public health guidelines shouldn’t have to worry about lawsuits. Without temporary liability protections, many companies face a daunting choice of either staying closed and risking bankruptcy or reopening and risking a business-crippling lawsuit.”

House Democrats, who have passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package, oppose liability protections for businesses.

The economy has replaced health care as the top concern of voters, in a Firehouse Strategies survey released on Wednesday. It showed that the economy was the top concern of 31% of voters, compared with 22% who said health care was their priority; the same poll in March showed health care was a greater concern than the economy by a similar margin.

In the America First survey, 52% of respondents said ending the coronavirus pandemic was their top concern, while 47% of voters said the economy was their priority.

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