Biden leads Trump by 10 points in new poll with six months until US election

Data adds to encouraging electoral picture for former vice president as he faces sexual assault allegations

Andrew Naughtie
Tuesday 28 April 2020 11:33
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Joe Biden's new campaign ad attacks Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic

With almost exactly six months to go till the US presidential election, a new poll has put Joe Biden ten points ahead of Donald Trump.

Conducted by the respected Suffolk University with USA Today, the poll shows Mr Biden pulling in 50 per cent of support to Mr Trump’s 40 in a straight two-way ballot. When a third part option is included, Mr Biden leads Mr Trump 44-38, with 9 per cent of voters undecided.

The results tally with the vast majority of other recent national polls compiled by FiveThirtyEight, none of which show Mr Biden losing. Some give him a lead of as little as two points, whereas others put him as far as 14 points ahead.

Results like these will be heartening for Mr Biden with the presidential campaign essentially in stasis as the coronavirus pandemic rages, meaning neither he nor the president can hold rallies or host in-person fundraising events.

While many prominent Democrats have lined up to endorse Mr Biden publicly, they can only do so in the form of online videos, some of which have been likened to “hostage footage”.

Mr Biden is also facing a major threat to his reputation in the form of sexual assault allegations from a former staffer. Tara Reade has accused the vice president of seriously assaulting her when she worked in his senate office in the early 1990s.

There was initially some debate over the credibility of her allegations, even on the left, and the impact of pursuing them when Mr Biden is running against an incumbent president himself accused of sexual assault by multiple women.

However, other voices in the Democratic party have said that discussing the allegation is “legitimate”, while others saying they spoke to Ms Reade around the time of the alleged assault have come forward to support her story. The Biden campaign has denied the assault ever happened.

Mr Trump, meanwhile, has fixated on his personal approval ratings (as well as his TV ratings) since at least the early months of his presidency. While he remains hugely popular among Republicans, his overall numbers have been consistently poor to a degree unprecedented in the history of modern polling.

While some polls in late March showed his numbers rising towards 50 per cent, there are now indications that that improvement has gone into reverse as the coronavirus crisis deepens. And while he continues to claim he is extremely popular, his claims are generally based on misleading or inaccurate comparisons.

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