Regardless of Biden’s national leadership, the race for the White House will ultimately boil down to a handful of swing states that will determine the outcome in the electoral college. The former vice president leads several of these critical battlefields, but with narrower limits than his national advantage. A poll is not a prediction of how the election will end, but a snapshot of the current race.
Voters are likely to prefer Biden over Trump on a number of issues that are crucial to voters, including the coronavirus outbreak (59% prefer Biden, 38% Trump), health care (59% to 39%), and the Racial inequality in America (62% to 36%), Supreme Court nominations (57% to 41%), and crime and safety (55% to 43%). The two are even clear about who would do better with the economy (50% say Biden, 48% Trump), much like they were among the registered voters in recent polls.
Voters are more likely to view Biden as the candidate who would unite the country (61% Biden to 33% Trump), who is honest and trustworthy (58% Biden to 33% Trump), and who cares about people like you (58% Biden ) to 38% Trump) who has a clear plan for solving the nation’s problems (55% to 39%) and which would protect Americans from harm (55% to 43%).
Although this is the first national CNN poll to report results among likely voters, a comparison of results among registered voters with those of a poll about a month ago shows that Biden has had significant support wins on several key voting blocks.
Biden has expanded its lead over Trump in women from 57% to 37% in September to 66% to 32%. This shift involves significant gains for Biden among white college graduates and women of skin color. For colored people, the advantage of Biden increased from 59% to 31% in September to 69% to 27%. The former vice president also made gains with younger voters, moderates and independents last month.
It is important to note that this increase in support for Biden was not accompanied by a significant decrease in support for Trump. The President’s key supporters still support him, if not more. For example, among white men without a college degree, Trump’s support has increased from 61% in September to 67% now. But Trump does not appear to have made any profits among the groups his campaign must attract to contain Biden’s long-standing lead.
Compared to the last CNN national poll, the partisan composition of this poll is only slightly more Democratic (33% of all adults say they are Democrats now, compared with 30% in early September) and no less Republican (28% GOP now vs. 27% in early September) September). Among the registered voters in the poll, 35% consider themselves Democrats and 30% Republicans, those numbers were 33% and 30% respectively in the previous CNN poll. When independents leaning towards one party or the other join in, the results also show little movement. 53% of the registered voters are now Democrats or leaning towards it, 43% are Republicans or leaning towards it. In last month’s poll, those numbers were 52% Democratic and 42% Republican.
The shifts in this poll are similar to those in an NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday conducted after the presidential debate but before the president’s diagnosis for coronavirus was revealed.
Most voters in the poll (64%) say Trump has not done enough to denounce white supremacist groups after being asked to do so in the debate, saying instead that the Proud Boys “should stand by and stand by”. 76% of colored people say Trump did not do enough to denounce such groups.
The issues that matter most to voters continue to vary dramatically with the voter’s preference as president. Trump supporters are far more likely than Biden supporters to say that crime and security (51% extremely important for Trump supporters versus 33% for Biden supporters) and the economy (48% for Trump supporters, 36% for Biden supporters) are The main concern is their voice.
Among Biden’s supporters, 66% consider the coronavirus extremely important to their voice versus 21% among Trump supporters, 63% say racial relationships are important versus 16% of Trump voters, 58% consider health care extremely important versus 25% of Trump supporters and 51% say climate change is extremely important, compared to just 5% of Trump supporters.
One point of consensus emerges, however: about half of Biden (53%) and Trump (48%) supporters consider nominations to the Supreme Court to be extremely important.
The poll found that among likely voters, 54% say they intend to cast their ballots on election day, 30% plan to post ballots, and 14% say they will vote in person early. Biden supporters remain far more likely than Trump supporters to say they will vote before Election Day, including 41% who want to vote by mail and 19% who say they will vote early. However, 76% of Trump supporters say they can vote in person on election day.
Six out of ten Americans are confident that the presidential election votes will be cast and counted accurately, a slight increase since August. Registered voters who support Biden are increasingly confident that votes will be cast and counted accurately in the country (75% now up from 65% in August), while the proportion of Trump supporters who believe so has decreased somewhat (from 50% in August) % to 50%) 44%).
Although almost all Americans believe (86%) that the presidential race loser is obliged to admit once the results are confirmed, Trump supporters are slightly less likely to say so than they were in August (78% now versus 83% in) August 94% of Biden supporters in both polls. Most say they don’t expect Trump to accept and admit the results (58%), while 71% say Biden would. However, most Trump supporters say they believe the president would admit (63%).
The CNN poll was conducted October 1-4 by SSRS among a random national sample of 1,205 adults reached by a live interviewer, including 1,001 likely voters, via landline or mobile phone. The results for the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points, and for the results among the likely voters plus or minus 3.6 points.