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Conflicting New Polls: Biden Is Either Winning Big, or Trump Has Pulled Into a Tie

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Posted: Apr 13, 2020 1:05 PM
Conflicting New Polls: Biden Is Either Winning Big, or Trump Has Pulled Into a Tie

Source: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

The three most recent national polls of the presidential race paint three starkly different pictures. CNN's latest survey shows Joe Biden holding a commanding 11-point lead over President Trump and enjoying the support of an outright majority (53/42) of registered voters. Monmouth gives Biden a much slimmer edge, with the candidates separated by just four percentage points, and both well short of the 50 percent mark:

And as Reagan covered on Friday, fresh Fox News polling found the race exactly tied, with each major party candidate in the low 40's:


Fox's previous survey, released in late March, gave Biden a nine-point lead. Interestingly, Trump's job approval bump has subsided, but he's still rating higher on that measure than he is on head-to-head ballot questions:


Will Trump's approvers "come home" and ultimately vote for him? Plausibly so. Remember, he was suffering from record-high unfavorable ratings and still won in 2016, albeit against an almost preternaturally unlikable opponent. I'm not sure any of the current polling is terribly useful at this point. We're in the middle of a black swan event with an uncertain conclusion. What will matter far more than any momentary horse race development is how life is looking and feeling next fall. Has the virus been defeated or significantly mitigated? Do people think that the government, on balance, performed adequately? Is the economy bouncing back robustly? These are towering 'known unknowns' that are basically the whole ballgame. And the political blame game in full swing:


The fact-checkers are going to have a very busy few months. I'll leave you with this is interesting analysis:


Quote: "At the moment, a reasonable estimate is that Mr. Biden is performing four or five points worse among likely voters in the critical states than he is among registered voters nationwide. As a result, he holds only a narrow and tenuous edge in the race for the Electoral College, if he holds one at all. Even under ordinary circumstances, with seven months to go until the election, there would be plenty of time for the race to change. This cycle, the country also faces a pandemic and a severe economic downturn with the potential to upend the race...at least for now, the polls suggest that American voters are divided along familiar lines, despite countless events that seemed to have the potential to redraw them."