New national polls, conducted both before and after President Donald Trump began treating Covid-19 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, show Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had a significant advantage over the president a month before election day Has.
One such poll, conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, found that Biden had the biggest lead in the campaign to date, leading his rival by 14 percentage points.
This is in line with some recent polls – including a CNBC poll the day after the first presidential debate, in which Biden had a 13 percentage point lead – and reflects that Biden has been a poll leader for some time. It does, however, register about 6 percentage points more than the average gap between Trump and Biden.
The NBC / WSJ poll found the debate had an impact on registered voters, seeing a 6 percentage point increase in preference for Biden from a poll they completed prior to the debate.
The increase in Biden's support in the poll is partly due to high-ranking voters, who support him by a margin of 27 percentage points (62 to 35 percent) and suburban women, who support him by a margin of 15 points (58 to 33 percent). Both population groups are considered to be key voters.
Men over 50 in particular – an important part of Trump's 2016 base – are showing some signs of shifting their support. After the debate, that group moved from supporting Trump by a 13-point lead to supporting Biden by 1 point, a swing of at least 10 points in just a few days.
Perhaps the debate overshadows the fact that the president now has Covid-19. Poll takers are still determining how this could affect the race, but a Reuters / Ipsos poll, conducted October 2-3 after news of Trump's diagnosis, found voters likely to drop Biden by 10 percentage points advocate.
Other national survey trackers show Biden with a constant lead, but still have that lead in the double-digit range. Biden is 8.7 percentage points above Trump on NBC News' national poll average, and Biden is 8 points above Trump on FiveThirtyEight national poll average.
This smaller gap is also significant; Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, responded to the new polls by pointing to many polls in 2016 that indicated that then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was at the top of the polls: "And now is President Trump in the White House. "
Trump's handling of the coronavirus is on the minds of voters
The usual disclaimers apply to reading this week's polls: polls don't predict the future, but rather reflect a snapshot of a point in time, as Vox's Li Zhou explained.
In addition, while national polls are a good indicator of sentiment, they may overlook some specifics in different swing states. And because the electoral college, not the referendum, decides on the presidency, the 2020 election will likely be decided by a handful of swing states – or even swing counties. State polls (which, in turn, as Zhou has explained, have their limits) show that in the major battlefield states, the race is much closer. For example, a CBS News poll in Ohio from September 30 to October 2 found that Biden and Trump are connected.
And of course there could be radical changes to the polls in the four weeks between now and the elections. Nothing about this year's campaign cycle has been normal, and the coronavirus pandemic, as well as its personal impact on the president, could change the shape of the race.
However, recent polls on the pandemic show that most Americans disagree with how Trump dealt with the coronavirus. The Reuters / Ipsos poll found that only about a third of voters believe Trump was telling the truth about the coronavirus. 55 percent said they didn't, and 11 percent aren't sure – and more than half of Americans, 57 percent, disapproved of his overall answer.
That poll also found that 65 percent of Americans agreed with the statement, "If President Trump had taken the coronavirus more seriously, he likely would not have been infected."
That number included 9 out of 10 registered Democrats and 5 in 10 registered Republicans, according to the survey.
As questions arise about Trump's health, how he dealt with the coronavirus – both personally and as the nation's leader – is sure to play a role in voter decisions.
Are you helping keep Vox free for everyone?
The United States is in the middle of one of the most momentous presidential elections of our life. It is important that all Americans have access to clear, concise information about what the outcome of the election could mean for their lives and the lives of their families and communities. This is our mission at Vox. However, our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism is resource intensive. Even if the economy and the news advertising market recover, your support will be a vital part of keeping our resource-intensive work going. If you've already contributed, thank you. If you fail to do so, please help everyone understand these presidential elections: Contribute from $ 3 today.