Monday 1 June 2020

Biden Lead Over Trump jumps 8 Points In Polls

Former Vice President Joe Biden's lead over President Donald Trump among registered voters has increased by 8 percentage points since March as approval of Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has slipped, according to a poll released Sunday by ABC News and The Washington Post. 

The presumptive Democratic nominee leads Trump 53%-43% among registered voters, the poll found. On March 25, the same survey showed a much tighter race, with Biden leading by just 2 percentage points, 49%-47%. 

And Trump's overall approval rating has slipped since the March 25 poll, which for the first time in his presidency found more Americans approving (48%) than disapproving (46%) of the job he was doing. In this month's poll, his approval rating dropped two points to 46% and his disapproval rating jumped 7 points to 53%. 

Democratic and Republican voters were firmly behind their party's standard-bearers, 95% and 94%, respectively. But Biden had a wide lead among registered independents, 56%-39%, after leading by just 1 point with those voters two months ago. 

The candidates' support showed sharp divides by gender and race. Trump led by 8 points among male voters (52%-44%) and Biden held a 28-point advantage among female voters (62%-34%). Trump led by 9 percentage poitns among white voters, 53%-44%, while Biden was backed by 89% of black voters and 69% of Hispanic voters. 

Trump's slide has coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the U.S. When the previous poll was released, there were fewer than 70,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the death toll was under 1,300. There are now nearly 1.8 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and more than 104,000 people dead from the disease. 

The poll of 1,001 Americans was conducted from May 25-28 and therefore does not reflect the full impact of recent anti-police brutality protests on voters' opinions. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. 

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Opinions flip on coronavirus response
The last ABC/Post poll found the majority (51%) of Americans approved of Trump's handling of the outbreak, with 45% disapproving. Those numbers have virtually flipped in two months, with 53% now saying they disapprove of his response to the crisis and 46% saying they approve. 

When asked who they trusted more to handle the government's coronavirus response, 50% said Biden and 42% said Trump. But they were evenly split 47%-47% when asked who they trusted more to manage the economic recovery from the pandemic. 

The lockdowns and stay-at-home orders meant to slow the spread of the virus have devastated the economy and driven unemployment to levels not seen since the Great Depression. The weakened economy undermines a cornerstone of Trump's reelection pitch, which has centered on a thriving stock market and low unemployment. 

In a November 2018 ABC/Post poll, 65% of Americans had a positive view of the economy and 34% had a negative one. Now, those numbers are inverted, with 34% holding a positive view of the economy and 65% a negative one.

Biden leads Trump 66%-30% among Americans who have been laid off or furloughed since the outbreak started. A 52% majority still approves of Trump's handling of the economy, down from 57% two months ago. 

Many states are expanding mail-in and absentee voting in response to the outbreak. Trump has strongly objected to those efforts, claiming, without evidence, that it would lead to massive election fraud. Despite the president's concerns, 65% of Americans support an increase in voting-by-mail-in, while 30% are opposed. 

An enthusiasm gap between Trump, Biden
An area where Trump holds an advantage over Biden is in the enthusiasm of his supporters. Eight-seven percent of the registered voters who said they favor Trump in the election said they will "definitely" vote for the president and 90% said they were enthusiastic about doing so.

By contrast, 74% of the voters who back Biden said they would definitely vote for him and 76% were enthusiastic about it. (Twelve percent were "not at all" enthusiastic.) And Biden's 10-point lead among registered voters drops to 5% among those who are both registered and say they are "certain" to vote. 

Biden's 46% favorability rating was only slightly higher than Trump's (42%), and was down 7 points from September. When it came to unfavorable ratings, the margin was wider, with 55% of Americans saying they viewed the president unfavorably and 48% saying the same of his opponent. But that represented an 11-point increase in unfavorability for Biden since September. 

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Fifty percent of Americans said Trump is a strong leader, compared with 43% who said that of Biden. But when it came to who they thought was honest and trustworthy, Biden bested Trump 48%-35%. And 45% said Biden "understands the problems of people like you," while 35% said Trump did. Americans also thought Biden's temperament was better suited for the job than Trump's, with 53% saying his personality fit the role compared to 38% who thought that of Trump. 

The president and his supporters have also attacked the 77-year-old Biden as "Sleepy Joe" and implied age was sapping his cognitive ability. But 51% said Biden "has the mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively as president," while 43% said he did not. 

On the other hand, a 52% majority said Trump lacked the mental sharpness needed for the job, while 46% said his mind was up for it. 

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