Joe Biden surpasses 50% in some polls – something Hillary Clinton never did

President returns to hitting Democratic plans that are wildly unpopular with his base, calling Green New Deal ‘baby talk’

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Monday 08 June 2020 15:25 BST
Joe Biden condemns Donald Trump for George Floyd remarks

Former vice president Joe Biden is closing in on or has surpassed the 50 per cent mark in several polls, something Hillary Clinton never did against Donald Trump in 2016.

The former secretary of state’s support against then-businessman Trump hovered mostly in the 40s four years ago. She never had the support, according to polls at least, of a majority of voters.

A NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday that gives Mr Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee, a 7-point lead nationally over the president also shows he has the support of 49 per cent of those surveyed. Forty-two per cent support Mr Trump.

A CNN-SSRS poll released last week showed Mr Biden well over 50 per cent, leading the president 55 per cent to 41 per cent. And a NPR-PBS-Marist survey put the former VP at 50 per cent and the president at 43 per cent.

As some political observers note, this means Mr Trump, unlike in 2016, will have to convince voters who are leaning towards the Democrat to vote for him instead.

In June 1976, another challenger, Jimmy Carter, was at or around 50 per cent in the polls. He defeated then-President Gerald Ford that November.

Mr Trump has, in recent days, painted Mr Biden as anti-police and touting economic policies he contends would send the US economy into another tailspin after its coronavirus slowdown.

“Not only will Sleepy Joe Biden DEFUND THE POLICE, but he will DEFUND OUR MILITARY! He has no choice, the Dems are controlled by the Radical Left,” the president tweeted on Sunday.

On Friday, Mr Trump wrote in a Twitter post: “Oh no, the Dems are worried again. The only one that can kill this comeback is Sleepy Joe Biden!”

That came after stronger-than-anticipated jobs data that saw the unemployment rate improve from 14.7 percent to 13.3 per cent.

Mr Trump’s poll numbers have worsened during the Covid-19 outbreak and as a result of his handling of protests following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

The president’s team used pepper balls and tear gas to move protesters from in front of a church seven days ago in Washington that the president later used for a photo op. He also deployed national guard troops in the district to use force and other tactics on seemingly peaceful protesters and ordered more than 1,500 active-duty troops moved to the DC region.

As his poll numbers have dropped, the president has increasingly returned to talking points singling out Democratic proposals that are wildly unpopular among his conservative base, which he needs to turn out in big numbers in six or seven battleground states.

“If we didn’t have the possibility of having massively higher taxes like the Democrats want to do and Green New Deals, which are totally ridiculous, frankly ridiculous,” Mr Trump said Friday in a Rose Garden event celebrating the jobs data.

“But the Green New Deal would kill our country. The Green New Deal would have a devastating effect on the world, and it’s not going to happen anyway because it’s impossible for them to do it,” he said. “If you ever look at what they want to do under the Green New Deal, it’s like baby talk.”

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