Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s lead over Donald Trump rose to a record 17 points as the U.S. elections begin their final sprint, according to an opinion poll by Opinium Research and Guardian.
About 57% of likely voters intend to vote for Biden, while only 40% say they will vote for the incumbent president, the poll shows.
With election day only three weeks away and millions of votes already cast, some Republicans fear losing the races for the presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Ed Rollins, who advises a pro-Trump super-political action committee, told the New York Times: “The president’s political environment is dire. It’s a tough battle. “
When the Times asked if Trump could do anything else, Rollins replied, “It’s cooked.”
Opinium’s results for the Guardian suggest that a hectic month in which Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, Trump’s disastrous debating performance and a White House coronavirus outbreak that infected the President himself was crucially in favor of the pendulum of the Democrats swung.
Biden has gained five percentage points among the undecided voters since September. Democrats have also given impetus to existing supporters, and voters are more likely to turn out for Biden, from 75% in September to 82% this month.
The former vice president is now a leader in healthcare, racial relations, employment, and even economics (45% to 43%), which is usually viewed as Trump’s signature problem. His reputation as a successful businessman was marred by a New York Times investigation into his tax affairs.
The study also reveals some key differences from the 2016 election, when Trump ousted Hillary Clinton on the electoral college.
Both Trump and Clinton were historically unpopular. The president again has a negative approval rating of -11%, with two in five (42%) strongly disapproving of the way he deals with the presidency. This time around, however, Biden has a strong + 18% positive approval rating. More than half (52%) of voters are in favor of running their election campaign.
Clinton also fared badly on sexist issues of “sympathy” and which candidate voters would prefer to have a beer with. But in 2020, voters say Biden is 57% to 32% more personable than Trump.
And while Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” label and allegations seemed to remain, his attempts to portray Biden as mentally unstable seem to have failed. According to voters, 77-year-old Biden has better mental stamina than 74-year-old Trump, by 48% to 44% ahead.
Opinium surveyed 2,003 U.S. adults ages 18 and older October 8-12. The interviews were conducted online and sampled and weighted to match the demographics of the US adult population, educational level and past votes in the most recent election.
Trump’s core support is notoriously loyal and is still revealed in his revitalized campaign rallies, but there is evidence that some Americans are turning against him, even in battlefield states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Almost two in three (62%) of ex-Trump voters (who voted for him in 2016 but won’t this year) say his handling of the coronavirus pandemic is why they cast their vote have changed. Additionally, nearly half (47%) of ex-Trump voters say his personality and behavior contributed to the change.
Democrats have said a massive victory is the surest way to avoid lengthy litigation that could even lead to street violence. Trump has spent months trying to undermine the credibility of the elections in general, and the postal vote in particular.
Opinium noted that Biden’s lead was based on the success of the mail-in vote, which is likely to hit record highs during the pandemic. About 55% of personal voters intend to vote for Trump while 42% intend to vote for Biden. Of the mail-in voters, 75% intend to vote for Biden and only 22% intend to vote for Trump.
As a result, America could witness a so-called “red mirage” in which Trump appears to win due to the early number of personal votes, only to be overtaken by Biden’s postal ballot papers hours or days later. Only 30% of voters expect to know who will be the winner on election night.
There are fears that Trump will use this time to spread conspiracy theories and declare victory. Half (50%) of voters fear that if the president loses the election, he will not give in. There is a party-political divide: Two-thirds (66%) of Trump voters fear the election will be rigged.
Meanwhile, Republicans are trying to validate Amy Coney Barrett in the Supreme Court before election day. More than half (55%) of Americans believe the court would tend to take a conservative position if Barrett were to join it. A third (32%) believe it will be “very conservative”.
As a result, two in five (41%) believe the new court would vote to overturn Roe versus Wade, the landmark ruling that made abortion legal nationwide. This despite multiple support for the judgment (45%).