Politics – washingtonpost
A Washington Post average of polls conducted immediately before the two conventions had Biden leading Trump 51 percent to 42 percent. With polls released this week after the Republican convention, we can update those numbers.
Biden leads Trump 51 percent to 42 percent.
That things didn’t change much shouldn’t be a surprise. The race has been remarkably static, with Trump’s daily high in FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls never beating Biden’s low. Biden came into the conventions with an unusually large lead, and he comes out of them with one, too.
The only obvious bump this year is the one in this article’s byline.*
But why? Why didn’t Trump’s repeated assertions that Biden would doom the nation to collapse work? New polling from CNN and polling partner SSRS offers a hint.
Overall, Biden leads Trump by eight points in CNN’s poll. That differs by demographic group, as you’d expect.
CNN also asked respondents who they thought could best handle a range of issues like the economy or the coronavirus pandemic. Biden held the advantage on nearly every issue. The one exception was the economy, on which the two candidates were essentially even.
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Now notice what happens when we contrast the numbers above with what Americans are actually worried about. (The figures below reflect the percentage who say they are very or somewhat worried about the issue.)
“Women more than anything else, they want security,” Trump said in a Fox News interview this week. “They want safety. They have to have safety.”
Women are more worried about crime than other groups — but less so than about the pandemic. And they see Biden as better able to keep America safe by a wide margin.
Trump’s problem, in essence, is that the pandemic continues to be a much larger source of concern for Americans, and Americans continue to see his handling of it as subpar. (Only 40 percent viewed Trump’s handling of the pandemic with approval in CNN’s poll.) What’s more, Trump’s focus on crime has not only failed to overtake concern about the virus, it’s not even particularly effective as an argument.
A poll released by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday reinforces that point. Respondents were asked whether they felt more or less safe with Trump as president. Half said they felt less safe, including 54 percent of women and 50 percent of independents. Asked whether having Biden as president would make them feel more or less safe, a plurality of respondents said more safe, including pluralities of women and about a third of independents.
The president continues to have a strong grip on Republican voters, something he has cultivated since his inauguration. A Suffolk University-USA Today poll found that only 30 percent of Americans think the country is on the right track — but 60 percent of Republicans do. The numbers were even better among those who say that Fox News is their most trusted source of news and commentary; 7 in 10 think the country is headed in the right direction. Three-quarters of Fox fans also said the economy is in recovery, compared with about two-thirds of Republicans and a third of Americans overall.
That enthusiasm, though, goes only so far: Suffolk has Biden leading by seven points.
Oh, and speaking of enthusiasm? Trump regularly touts the record enthusiasm in his base. In CNN’s poll, that is clear, including that 87 percent of his supporters say there is no way they will change their minds about whom they will vote for.
Among supporters of Biden, the figure is 94 percent.
Emily Guskin contributed to this report.
* I apologize for this joke.