A new national poll shows Democratic challenger Joe Biden holding an 11-point lead over President Trump with five months to go until the November general election.
And the Monmouth University survey – which was conducted last Thursday through Monday, as protests and violent clashes swept major cities across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death – indicates that more voters trust the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee than the GOP incumbent in the White House to handle race relations in the country.
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According to the poll, the former vice president currently tops Trump 52-41 percent among registered voters nationwide in a general election matchup. Biden was ahead of the president by 9 points in Monmouth’s May poll and had a 4-point edge over Trump in their April survey.
A Real Clear Politics average of the latest national polling puts Biden 6 points ahead of the president. The former vice president also has the edge over Trump right now in most of the recent polling in the key general election battleground states.
Four years ago, at a similar point in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton held a single-digit advantage over then-candidate Trump in most national and crucial swing state polling. Clinton ended up winning the national popular vote by 2 percent, but Trump carried the Electoral College count to win the White House.
Fifty-two percent of those questioned in the Monmouth poll said they have a great deal or some confidence in Biden to handle race relations, with 40 percent feeling the same way about the president.
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One-third of voters questioned said that race relations will be a major factor in their vote for president this year, with another 17 percent saying it will be a minor factor. Nearly half said it won’t be a factor at all.
“The race continues to be largely a referendum on the incumbent. The initial reaction to ongoing racial unrest in the country suggests that most voters feel Trump is not handling the situation all that well,” Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said.
Just under half of those polled said they have confidence in the president’s ability to deal with the nation’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with just over half saying they’re confident of Biden’s ability to steer the recovery.
More voters – 38 percent – said Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak makes it less likely he’ll be reelected, with 18 percent saying more likely and four in 10 saying the president’s performance will have no impact on the November results. And most voters said that current limitations on holding in-person campaign events – such as rallies – due to coronavirus health concerns will have no impact on the campaign’s tone.
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“The lack of a public campaign during the pandemic may be hurting Trump, but it is not necessarily helping Biden. Trump has not been able to lean on the large rallies that generate positive feedback for him, but Biden has not been much of a presence at all on the public stage. Many voters think the Democrat could do a good job, but they haven’t seen enough of him to judge for certain,” Murray said.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted May 28-June 1, with 807 adults nationwide questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error based on 742 registered voters is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.