A slew of polls released Wednesday put former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of President Trump by a wide margin nationally as he leads in several key battleground states won in 2016 by Trump, whose approval ratings have dived since the coronavirus pandemic and recent social unrest after the death of George Floyd.
A poll of 1,337 voters conducted by the New York Times and Siena College put Biden up nationally by a whopping 14 points, with 50% to Trump’s 36%.
Trump fares no better in critical battleground states, including those he won in 2016, such as Wisconsin, where a Marquette Law School poll puts Biden up 9 points, a 5 point bump since May.
In Ohio, which Trump won by 8 points in 2016, Biden leads by 1 point in a Quinnipiac University poll which puts Trump’s favorability underwater by 10 points in the Buckeye state.
Biden also leads by 2 points in a Public Policy Polling poll of North Carolina, a state Trump won by 4 points, while Democrat Cal Cunningham leads Republican Sen. Thom Tillis by 4 points in the U.S. Senate race.
Biden’s polling lead outpaces recent Democratic nominees, including Barack Obama in 2008, when he won by a margin of 7 points and nearly 200 electoral votes.
Trump has struggled to respond to recent crises such as the coronavirus pandemic and the civil unrest that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s death. While his job approval looked to be on track to be positive for the first time in his presidency at the start of the pandemic, it has since slipped to its lowest point since the beginning of the Ukraine scandal, which led to his eventual impeachment. Trump frequently gets low marks for his handling of the coronavirus but is positive by 5 points on his handling the economy despite recent economic downturn.
New York Times correspondent Nate Cohn took the unprecedented step of releasing the Times/Siena poll’s methodology before releasing its results, inviting good faith scrutiny and criticism. This was likely a response to an incident earlier this month in which Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis sent a letter to CNN disparaging the methodology of a poll that showed Biden up 14 points and demanding they retract the poll and apologize for it.
What To Look For
The Trump campaign had initially hoped to pad his electoral math by competing in Democratic-leaning states that went for Hillary Clinton like Minnesota, Colorado and Nevada. But his sizable polling deficits in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, as well as the competitiveness of typically red states like Texas, Ohio, Arizona and North Carolina, have forced him to spend money in those states instead in order to cobble together his 2016 electoral coalition. For instance, he is spending in Ohio, without which no Republican has ever won the presidency.