CNN poll: Biden and Trump clash tightens as enthusiasm soars to new high

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Overall, 50% of registered voters support the Biden-Harris ticket, while 46% say they support Trump and Pence, just within the ballot’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Among the 72% of voters who say they are extremely or very excited to vote this fall, Biden’s advantage over Trump widens to 53% to 46%. However, it is smaller among voters who live in the states that will have the most impact on the Electoral College this fall.

Across 15 battlefield states, the survey finds Biden has the support of 49% of registered voters, while Trump lands at 48%.

The pool of battlefield states in this poll includes more of what Trump won in 2016 (10) than what Hillary Clinton won (5), reflecting the fact that the president’s campaign is more focused on defense than on the offensive across states. Taken together, however, they represent a more Republican playing field than the nation as a whole.The movement in the poll among the country’s voters since June has been concentrated among men (they split about evenly in June, but now 56% support Trump, 40% Biden), those between 35 and 64 ( they lean towards Trump now, but lean towards Biden in June) and the independents (in June, Biden held a 52% to 41% lead, but now it’s an almost equal 46% gap between Biden and 45% Trump) .

Trump has also solidified his supporters since June. While 8% of Republicans or Republican-leaning independents said in June that they would support Biden, the figure is now just 4%. And the president increased his support among the Tories from 76% to 85%.

But the survey suggests that Trump voters are somewhat more likely to say they could change their mind by November (12% say so) than Biden supporters (7%).

More voters say their choice of candidate is for Trump rather than Biden. Almost 6 in 10 say they support the candidate they support because of their opinion of Trump (29% say their Biden vote is more for opposing Trump, 30% say they vote Trump in favor of him ), while only 32% say Biden is the deciding factor (19% vote in favor of Biden, 13% vote to oppose him).

Overall, 54% disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job as president and 42% approve of it. That’s up since June, and about the same level as Trump’s ratings at the start of the year. It always places the president at the bottom of a list of historic approval ratings for presidents seeking re-election just before their naming conventions. Trump is ahead of Jimmy Carter (33% approval) and George HW Bush (35%), but behind Barack Obama (48%), George W. Bush (49%), Bill Clinton (53%) and Ronald Reagan (54%) )).

Trump’s favorability rating remains underwater nationally (43% see it favorably, 55% unfavorably), a little worse than Biden’s 46% in favor to even 47% unfavorable. In the battlefield states, however, voters’ opinions on the two candidates are almost equal: 52% have an unfavorable opinion of Biden, 54% of Trump. Both candidates are viewed favorably by 45% in these states.

Kamala Harris considered a good choice

Harris joined the ticket with a narrowly positive favorability rating (41% opinion favorably, 38% unfavorably), which is an improvement from May when 32% of Americans said they had a positive opinion of her and 33% an opinion. negative.

Biden’s selection of Harris is rated excellent or somewhat good by most (52%), and 57% say it favorably reflects Biden’s ability to make important presidential decisions. Most say she is qualified to be president if necessary (57%). And a majority, 62%, say their selection doesn’t have much of an effect on their vote. People of color, however, are more likely than whites to say his selection makes them more likely to support Biden (28% among people of color, 18% among whites).

Compared to other recent Democratic roommates, Harris is doing well. The 30% who qualify her selection as excellent exceeds the portion who said so in a CNN poll on John Edwards in 2004, Biden in 2008, Joe Lieberman in 2000 or Tim Kaine in 2016. And the 57% who say they are qualified to be president if it becomes necessary, he is only surpassed by Biden (63%) and Al Gore in 1992 (64%).

On the issues

The poll suggests that supporters of both candidates live in alternate universes when it comes to the issues that matter to their vote. Overall, the economy, the coronavirus, healthcare, gun politics and race relations are deemed extremely important by at least 40% of voters. But there are big gaps between Biden and Trump voters on the importance of these issues. Seventy percent of Biden voters say the coronavirus is critically important compared to 24% of Trump voters. Among Trump supporters, 57% see the economy extremely important, while 37% of Biden voters agree. The majority of Biden supporters (57% in each case) consider healthcare and race relations extremely important, while about 1 in 5 Trump supporters agree (20% on healthcare, 22 % on race relations).

Biden topped Trump as being better able to deal with most of the issues tested in the poll: racial inequality in the United States, the coronavirus epidemic, health care and foreign policy. Trump wins over running the economy. Voters are narrowly divided over which candidate would protect Americans from harm (50% say Biden would, 47% Trump). And more generally, Biden is more often seen as having “a clear plan to solve the country’s problems” (49% choose Biden versus 43% Trump) and better able to “run the government effectively” (52% Biden versus 44%). % Trump).

And when it comes to those main issues, almost all Trump and Biden supporters think their man is the right one for the job. Only 1% of Biden supporters say they would trust Trump rather than Biden to handle racial inequality in the United States, and only 2% would trust Trump to handle the coronavirus outbreak. On the flip side, 2% of Trump voters say they would prefer Biden over the economy, and only 4% choose him over the coronavirus outbreak.

Overall, Biden holds the edge over a range of positive traits often seen as valuable in a White House race. Most say he cares about people like them (53% Biden, 42% Trump), shares their values ​​(52% Biden vs. 43% Trump), and is honest and trustworthy (51% Biden to 40% Trump ). Others also say Biden will unite the country and not divide it (55% Biden vs. 35% Trump). But in this confrontation between two septuagenarians, voters are divided on who has the stamina and finesse to be president (48% say Trump, 46% Biden).

The CNN poll was conducted by the SSRS from August 12 to 15 among a random national sample of 1,108 adults reached on landlines or cell phones by a live interviewer, including 987 registered voters. The survey also includes an oversample of residents of 15 battlefield states for a total subsample of 636 adults and 569 registered voters from those states. This subset has been weighted based on its appropriate share of the total adult US population. The results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. It is 4.0 points among registered voters and 5.4 points for the results of registered voters in battlefield states.

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