Biden's Lead Over Trump May Be Weaker Than It Appears

The two probably are running close in the battleground states
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2020 7:45 PM CDT
Biden's Early Lead Over Trump Could Be Misleading
Former Vice President Joe Biden participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate in March.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Joe Biden seems to be in a good position at the moment to unseat President Trump. The former vice president is up by an average of 6 percentage points nationally among registered voters. But we still have the Electoral College, and Nate Cohn points out in the New York Times that the story is a little different in the battleground states. There, Biden probably polls 4 or 5 points lower among likely voters, meaning he might not lead in the critical swing states at all. Especially worrying for Biden is the finding that, among white voters without a college degree—a group that was central to Trump's victory in 2016—recent polls show the president with a lead over Biden averaging 61% to 32%. That's close to, if not larger than, Trump's edge in that group over Hillary Clinton last time. It's a group that voted for Barack Obama but not Clinton.

Biden has other strengths, such as among white voters with college degrees. He's way ahead among nonwhite voters, but it's not clear from polling if that margin will shrink. The polling data suggests the possibility that the Democratic nominee could win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College again. But given the pandemic and national shutdown, this election's outcome is a new level of unpredictable, Cohn writes. We can't know what voters will decide about Trump's handling of the outbreak. For that matter, we don't even know how the voting will be conducted. Read the full piece here. (Biden collects an endorsement during an online forum.)

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