Both state and national polls show the Democratic nominee gaining ground among key voters.
A HANDFUL OF NATIONAL and state polls, which find former Vice President Joe Biden’s margin of support growing into the double digits as President Donald Trump’s support among key demographics erodes, could foretell a major Democratic victory come November.
A CNN poll released Tuesday shows 57% of likely voters say they support Biden compared to 41% who say they support Trump. The poll, conducted by SSRS after the first debate and mostly after the president’s coronavirus infection was made public, is the latest national poll to bolster a narrative that Trump is sinking.
The poll found likely voters preferred Biden over Trump on an array of issues, including his ability to unite the country, his ability to keep Americans safe from harm and his overall plan to solve the country’s problems. Even on the economy, where Trump has consistently polled higher than Biden, 50% of likely voters say Biden would handle the economy better compared to 48% who said Trump would handle it better.
The finding is an important indicator of potential erosion in the president’s base and comes after an NBC/Wall St Journal poll signaled a narrowing on the issue, with voters viewing Trump as better suited than Biden to handle the economy, 48% to 41%.
Notably, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which was conducted after the presidential debate but before the president’s coronavirus diagnosis was revealed, also signaled a significant and growing margin of support for Biden. Among registered voters, the poll found Biden leading Trump by 14 points, 53% to 39% – up from the 8-point lead he held in the previous poll conducted before the debate.
The NBC News/Wall St. Journal poll found another potential signal of the trouble the president finds himself in just weeks ahead of the election: The biggest declines for Trump were seen among seniors, who backed Biden by 62% to 35%, and among suburban women, who backed Biden 58% to 33%. Moreover, the poll found men 50 years and older moved to a 1-point advantage for Biden, compared to a 13-point advantage for Trump in a poll from the news outlets conducted before the debate.
These demographics were largely responsible for Trump’s 2016 victory and without them, his path to reelection is difficult.
The national polling is bolstered by state polling that could also signal trouble for the president.
A poll from The New York Times/Siena College, for example, shows Biden leading Trump 49% to 41% in the battleground state of Arizona – a traditionally Republican state that has only supported a Democrat for president once (Bill Clinton in 1996) since 1952.
Trump carried the state by about three and a half points in 2016, but the poll, which was taken both before and after the president announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, shows women, younger voters and Hispanic people propelling Biden to a steady lead.
The polling – though not a barometer for how well a president will perform in the election – remains an important indicator about how voters feel in the crucial weeks heading into Nov. 3. Combined, the polls suggest Democrats could be looking at the largest margin of victory since 1964, when incumbent President Lyndon Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee, with 61.1% of the popular vote. It was the largest margin of victory since 1820.
Pollsters are quick to caution that, as always, anything can happen. At this time in 2016, Hillary Clinton was consistently outperforming Trump in the polls – though she wasn’t breaking 50 percent or posting the types of gains Biden is currently.
And while the polls show erosion of support among important demographics for Trump, the CNN poll in particular showed the president’s core supporters remain steadfast in their backing of him, if not more so now than in previous months. Among white men without college degrees, for example, Trump’s support increased from 61% in September to 67% now.
Even still, pollsters say, if the race returns to an 8- or 9-point margin, where it’s more or less stood over the last several months, it presents a difficult path to victory for Trump, especially with less than a month before Election Day.
By Lauren Camera, Senior Education Writer @ The US News