Here’s the latest news courtesy of Qunnipiac University’s latest poll:
If the election for president were being held today, former Vice President Joe Biden would receive 49percent of the vote and President Donald Trump would receive 41 percent, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University national poll of registered voters released today. This compares to a May 20th national poll when Biden led Trump 50 – 39 percent. In today's poll, Democrats go to Biden 93 – 4 percent and independents are split with Biden at 43 percent and Trump at 40 percent, while Republicans go for Trump 92 – 7 percent.There are wide gaps among gender, race, and education groups:
- Women back Biden 59 – 33 percent, while men back Trump 51 – 38 percent;
- Black voters back Biden 82 – 9 percent, Hispanic voters back Biden 57 – 31 percent, and white voters back Trump 50 – 42 percent;
- White voters with a college degree back Biden 57 – 35 percent, while white voters without a college degree back Trump 59 – 33 percent.
“The country gyrates uneasily through a killer virus, unrest in the streets, and volatile ugly divisiveness, but the presidential horse race looks now like it did back in February,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.
BIDEN VS. TRUMP
When asked who would do a better job handling various issues, Biden leads in 4 of them, while Trumpleads Biden only on handling the economy:
- On the economy, Trump has a slight lead 51 – 46 percent;
- On handling a crisis, Biden leads 54 – 43 percent;
- On the coronavirus response, Biden leads 54 – 41 percent;
- On health care, Biden leads 55 – 41 percent;
- On race relations, Biden leads 58 – 36 percent.
Neither candidate has a positive favorability rating. While 42 percent have a favorable opinion of Biden,46 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him. While 40 percent have a favorable opinion of Trump, 56 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him.
Asked about honesty, voters say 61 – 35 percent that Trump is not honest. They are split about Biden's honesty, with 45 percent saying he is not honest and 44 percent saying he is honest.
Voters are also split on whether Biden has good leadership skills, as 46 percent say “yes” and 45 percent say “no.” This is down from last month when 51 percent said he had good leadership skills, while 40 percent said he did not have good leadership skills. As for President Trump, voters say 58 – 41 percent that he does not have good leadership skills, essentially unchanged from a month ago.
Biden does care about average Americans, voters say 56 – 36 percent, but this is down from 61 – 30percent in May. Voters say Trump does not care about average Americans, 56 – 43 percent, essentially unchanged from a month ago.
TRUMP JOB APPROVALS
42 percent of voters approve of the job President Trump is doing while 55 percent disapprove, essentially unchanged from May's 42 – 53 percent negative approval rating. On Trump's handling of:
- The economy, 52 percent of voters approve, 45 percent disapprove;
- The military, 44 percent approve, 52 percent disapprove;
- The response to the coronavirus, 42 percent approve, 56 percent disapprove;
- Health care, 39 percent approve, 56 percent disapprove;
- Race relations, 36 percent approve, 59 percent disapprove.
Now if you are more concerned about battleground state polling, check this out:
Ã¢ÂÂ Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) June 18, 2020
If you are also wondering about how Biden is doing uniting the party, Monmouth University’s latest poll can answer that:
Ã¢ÂÂ MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) June 18, 2020
One concern among Democratic leaders during the topsy-turvy primary battle was whether Biden could coalesce the party once he secured the nomination. Most party voters interviewed by Monmouth are satisfied with the outcome, but only one-third (33%) describe themselves as “enthusiastic” – including only a bare majority (55%) of Biden’s own voters. Moreover, 1 in 10 (11%) Democratic voters say they would actually like to see the party delegates choose another nominee at the national convention. Sanders voters (36%) are among those most likely to want the primary results overturned. In fact, 17% of Sanders voters disapprove of their candidate’s decision to endorse Biden, while 68% approve and 15% say it doesn’t matter to them or are not sure. A much smaller but still measurable number of voters for Buttigieg (9%), Klobuchar (9%), and Warren (6%) also say they would like to see another nominee chosen in Milwaukee.
Still, when Monmouth asked its panel of voters about November, 93% said they will support Biden. Just 3% will vote for Trump and 2% will vote for a third-party candidate, while another 2% will not vote at all or are unsure what they will do. Just 4% of Sanders voters say they will support Trump while 81% will cast their ballot for Biden. A sizable 11% intend to vote for a third-party candidate, though, while 5% will sit out November or are unsure what they will do.
“It’s not clear what to make of these numbers. Nearly all the Democrats we interviewed are behind Biden for November, but losing up to 15 percent of Sanders supporters, even to a third-party candidate, could be problematic if the race is extremely tight. The question is, will these voters really go that route when the time comes,” said Murray. He added, “The poll is not able to make a direct comparison to 2016, although it seems reasonable to assume that disaffection among Sanders voters is lower now than it was four years ago.”
Aside from Sanders voters, Biden has near universal support among Democrats who backed other candidates in the primary field – with two noted exceptions. Voters who supported Andrew Yang in Monmouth’s pre-election polls are a little less likely than other Democrats to say they will vote for Biden in November (74%) and a little more likely to support Trump (13%) or another candidate (13%). However, this level of attrition pales in comparison to the massive lack of support earned by the Democratic ticket among Tulsi Gabbard supporters. Fully 51% of these voters say they are backing Trump in November. Just 28% will support Biden and 13% will vote for a third-party candidate. The Gabbard bloc’s contrary voting preferences extend down the ballot. Nearly half (46%) say they will cast a Republican vote in their U.S. House districts. Even among other potentially disaffected Democratic primary voters, less than 1 in 10 say they will support the GOP candidate for Congress (9% for Yang supporters and 4% for Sanders supporters).
“This isn’t a case of sour grapes. A large chunk of Gabbard’s support was effectively Republican to begin with. Biden, or indeed any other nominee, would never have a chance with them,” said Murray.
Monmouth University’s latest poll also tested to see who Democrats want to be Biden’s VP:
Ã¢ÂÂ MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) June 18, 2020
Now, this latest piece from Politico offers this warning about 2020 polling repeating any mistakes from 2016 polling:
“I would say that most, if not all, of the concerns that we expressed still hold — some to a lesser degree,” said Courtney Kennedy, director of research at the Pew Research Center and lead author of the polling industry’s post-2016 autopsy. “But I think some of the fundamental, structural challenges that came to a head in 2016 are still in place in 2020.”
Polling errors are not uncommon in presidential elections. But pollsters see a real risk this year that the mistakes of 2016 will be repeated. Their colleagues still are not accounting for the fact that voters with greater educational attainment are more likely to complete surveys — and more likely to vote for Democratic candidates.
“There’s still a number of state polls, in particular, that are not fixing this issue,” said Kennedy.
Biden’s current lead over Trump is so large — over 8 percentage points in the national RealClearPolitics polling average, and an average advantage of 3 points or greater in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — that a 2016-level polling error wouldn’t matter. A lead that large would probably guarantee Trump would be denied a second term, and even a polling miss on par with 2016 wouldn’t be enough to overcome it.
But that doesn’t mean the president’s standing is quite as dire as it looks on paper — the problem that pollsters identified in 2016 remains. Not enough surveys are being conducted in the battleground states, and those that exist are failing to account for a key political dynamic of modern politics, especially in the Trump era: the rapid movement of lower-income white voters to Republicans and upscale whites to Democrats.
Pollsters are looking for answers. One of the major takeaways of the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s post-2016 autopsy was that state polls that didn’t weight, or adjust, their samples to include more white voters who hadn’t graduated college missed a key element of Trump’s coalition. In previous elections, the differences in white voters’ preferences along educational lines were smaller, but they began to grow during the past decade and accelerated with Trump on the ballot in 2016.
“Before 2014, it wasn’t that big of a deal because the reality is non-college white voters and college-educated white voters — the distinction between the two wasn’t as dramatic,” said Democratic pollster Jefrey Pollock. “But starting with 2014, that began to cleave a lot and is now obviously humongous.”
GOP pollster Glen Bolger said he believes a combination of pollsters’ inability to get the right educational mix and to persuade potential Trump voters to respond and answer truthfully to phone polls is pointing their surveys in a slightly Democratic direction.
“I don’t know how big the effect is. I also don’t know what the ratio is between it being ‘shy Trump’ voters and interviewing too many college graduates and not enough non-college grads,” Bolger said. “But I do think those are factors in some of the polls that show a particularly wide lead for Biden at this point in time. And I do think that things will be closer in the states than the polls indicate right now.”
But Mark Mellman, Harry Reid’s 2010 pollster, does confirm that Biden’s lead is real but we can’t be complacent:
If the current polls are off by 2.4 points in a pro-Biden direction—Biden’s lead would still be 5.7 points.
“Yes,” you reply, “but the national popular vote is irrelevant—Clinton won that worthless prize, but lost the Electoral College, and with it the White House.
True, but the national popular is not completely divorced from the vote in states. In the real world, the chances of Biden winning the national popular vote by 5.7 points and losing the Electoral College is vanishingly small — not zero, but vanishingly small.
By comparison, Clinton’s chances of losing with a 2-point margin was about 30 percent.
But let’s look more closely at those states. As of today, Biden enjoys leads in states sufficient to yield a substantial Electoral College victory.
“But,” you rightly suggest, “the state polls were farther off than the national surveys in the last presidential election.”
Right again. But dig a bit deeper.
In 2016, Wisconsin proved to be the pivotal state in the Electoral College.
Today, Badger State voters give Biden a 4-point lead on average. In 2016, polls there were wrong by an average of 6.5 points, enough to cast some doubt on Biden’s current standing there. The same is true in Pennsylvania.
However, Michigan was also critical, and there Biden’s ahead by 7.3 points. The 2016 error was a lesser 3.5 points. So, even if the error is of the same magnitude as in 2016, Biden leads there today. In Florida, Biden’s current lead is slightly larger than the error in 2016.
In Arizona, not a single late poll showed Clinton ahead and, on average, surveys gave Trump a slightly bigger margin than he actually earned. Today Biden enjoys a 3.4-point advantage.
Adding it all together, if we take today’s state polling and assume it is as far off as it was in 2016, Joe Biden would still win an Electoral College majority.
However, while it would be foolish to deny Biden leads today, it would be only slightly less silly to assume that his victory in November is assured.
President Trump’s reelection campaign is seeking to wield more influence over the fall presidential debates, drafting former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to lead an effort to push for more debates and for the campaign to have a say in who moderates them.
The Commission on Presidential Debates has so far scheduled four debates: three between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and one between Vice President Pence and whomever emerges as Biden’s running mate.
The Trump campaign has seized on the idea that the more Biden appears in the spotlight, the more likely he is to let slip potentially damaging gaffes. If more debates are held, the thinking among Republicans goes, the more opportunities there will be for Biden to mess up.
The effort by the Trump campaign to expand the debate schedule was first reported on Thursday by Politico. A Trump campaign source confirmed the plans to The Hill.
Among the other concessions that the Trump campaign hopes to secure from the Commission on Presidential Debates is a say in who will moderate each debate. Campaign officials also want the debates to be held on weeknights other than Thursday to avoid coinciding with NFL games.
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is making his first television ad buy of the general election, a $15 million television, digital, radio and print advertising blitz starting Friday for five weeks across six fall battlegrounds — all states that President Trump carried in 2016.
The ads, which will air in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina, as well as on national cable, are evidence of Mr. Biden’s improved financial position after he raised $80.8 million in May, as well as a forceful early effort to lock in and expand the consistent lead he has established in national polls over Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump began advertising earlier this spring, spending nearly $22.7 million through Monday, according to data from Advertising Analytics, a media-tracking firm, including millions of dollars of attacks on Mr. Biden.
Despite the Trump campaign’s early hopes that it could expand the Electoral College map from 2016, the president has so far advertised in the same six states where Mr. Biden is going up with ads, along with Iowa and Ohio, two states that Mr. Trump won more comfortably in 2016 and that were not initially expected to be crucial 2020 swing states.
“We’re playing offense,” Patrick Bonsignore, Mr. Biden’s director of paid media, wrote in a memo outlining the buy, which also includes $1 million in Spanish-language ads in Florida and Arizona. The campaign is also “making a mid-six-figure investment in African-American print, radio, and targeted digital programming” in the six states, according to the memo.
For its opening English-language television ads, the Biden campaign is using portions of the former vice president’s speech this month in Philadelphia after the killing of George Floyd to narrate two different 60-second spots.
“The country is crying out for leadership,” Mr. Biden says in one of the ads. “Leadership that can unite us. Leadership that brings us together. That’s what the presidency is. The duty to care.”
That spot does not mention Mr. Trump by name but does include images of the president’s recent Bible-holding photo op near the White House — made possible after riot officers cleared peaceful protesters by force — as Mr. Biden vows to “heal the racial wounds of our country that have long plagued our country, not use them for political gain.” Interspersed are images of recent protests against racial injustice and of federal security officers standing guard in helmets and fatigues outside the Lincoln Memorial.
The second ad, which neither mentions nor shows any images of Mr. Trump, centers on what Mr. Biden calls the “great American middle class” and the people who have been newly deemed “essential workers” during the coronavirus pandemic. “We need to do more than praise them,” he says in the ad. “We need to pay them.”
“This job is not about me,” Mr. Biden says of the presidency at the end of the ad. “It’s about you. It’s about us.”
All in all, Biden is in good shape but we cannot get complacent and take nothing for granted. Click here to donate and get involved with Biden’s campaign.