Biden Keeps Double-Digit Lead as Democratic 'Anxiety' Persists

President trims disadvantage from 14 to 11 points in NBC poll
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2020 12:20 PM CDT
Biden Keeps Double-Digit Lead as Democratic 'Anxiety' Persists
Stock photo.   (Getty/grejak)

President Trump doesn't appear to be closing the gap with Joe Biden in the final weeks of the election in the same way he did against Hillary Clinton in 2016. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll still has Biden up by double digits. Among registered voters, Biden leads by 11 points, 53-42, though that's down from 14 points in a post-debate poll earlier this month. The latest survey was conducted after Trump returned to the White House after his COVID treatment. More coverage:

  • Hope for Trump: The economy remains voters' No. 1 issue, and voters give Republicans a 13-point advantage here. Also, half of respondents say they're personally better off than they were four years ago. Still, the advantage doesn't seem to be translating into Trump votes, at least for now. "People are saying, 'Yep, I think Trump is better on the economy,' but he's still behind," GOP pollster Bill McInturff, who helped conduct the poll, tells the WSJ.

  • Democrat 'anxiety': Despite Biden's steady lead in polls, New York Times longtime political reporter Thomas Edsall writes in an op-ed that several factors are "causing anxiety" among Democrat political pros. A key one: Republicans are beating Democrats when it comes to registering voters in crucial states. "Since last week, the share of white non-college over 30 registrations in the battleground states has increased by 10 points compared to September 2016," one Democratic strategist recently wrote. Also, "there are serious signs of political engagement by white non-college voters who had not cast ballots in previous elections."
  • Rupert worried? The Daily Beast reports that longtime Trump supporter Rupert Murdoch is telling people that Biden will win in a landslide. The site gave Murdoch a chance to deny it, though he deferred. "No comment, except I've never called Trump an idiot," he said, a reference to an allegation in 2018 that he used the term about the president after speaking with him about immigration.
  • Undecideds: A Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that there are fewer undecided voters this year (8%) than in 2016, and those who are undecided are just as likely to pick Biden as Trump. That's bad news for the president, because it makes a dramatic late swing less likely. "The candidate who is behind—Trump—needs to win undecideds at a disproportionate rate to catch up," says Kyle Kondik of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. "So, if that isn't happening, he's not really cutting into Biden's lead."
(More Election 2020 stories.)

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