Six months before Election Day, the coronavirus pandemic has done what impeachment did not: Cost President Donald Trump his advantage over Joe Biden in the 2020 campaign.
A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll shows the former vice president leading Trump nationwide by six percentage points, 44%-38%, a shift from Trump’s three-point lead in the survey as he was being impeached by the House in December. In a contest without a third-party contender, Biden’s margin jumps to 10 points, 50%-40%.
In the previous poll, when Trump led 44%-41%, Biden was in the middle of a fierce battle for the Democratic nomination. Now he is the party’s presumptive nominee.
The findings underscore the challenge that the deadly pandemic is posing to the president’s political standing, which has proved remarkably durable through investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, a Senate impeachment trial over the president’s dealings with Ukraine and other controversies.
Now his standing may be threatened in the face of questions about the response he and his administration have made to a disease that has cost more than 55,000 lives in the United States and imperiled the nation’s economy.
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