As Joe Biden and Donald Trump hurtle toward Election Day, new polling shows the former vice president opening up his widest national lead yet over the incumbent – having never fallen behind Mr Trump all year.
According to the University of Southern California’s presidential polling tracker, Mr Biden is now pulling ahead by more than 12 points.
This reflects a steady increase from the 10-point lead posted at the time of the first presidential debate, indicating that neither Mr Trump’s performance nor his bout with the coronavirus have done anything to help his standing.
While the latest poll puts Mr Biden further ahead than many others, it chimes with many recent surveys indicating a slow but steady uptick in Mr Biden’s already strong national lead. The RealClearPolitics average gives the former vice president a lead of just under 10 points, while the polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight pegs it at 10.5.
For his part, Mr Trump has consistently maintained that polls that put him behind are “fake”, demanding that the generally sympathetic Fox News “get a new pollster” after its own data showed him falling well behind.
Mr Biden has led Mr Trump nationally ever since he won the nomination in the spring, and broadly speaking has seen his lead gently widening ever since. However, as Hillary Clinton’s defeat proved, a national polling advantage does not necessarily guarantee victory in the Electoral College.
More relevant and more encouraging for Mr Biden are the leads he appears to have built up in several swing states, including some of Mr Trump’s pivotal 2016 victories.
He leads by slim margins in North Carolina and Florida, both of which are imminently opening their polls for early in-person voting. Mr Biden is also steaming ahead in states that gave Mr Trump some of his narrowest victories over Hillary Clinton – Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump shows signs of slipping behind in other states that were not considered competitive in 2016, forcing him and the Republican Party to expend money and resources in places like Arizona, Georgia and Texas when they would rather be dedicated to preserving and expanding the Electoral College majority the president won in the last election.
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