With less than a week before Election Day, former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump is holding steady, though still in the single digits, according to the latest Suffolk University/USA TODAY national poll of likely voters.
Biden leads Trump 52% to 44%, with 2% undecided. A September Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll showed Biden leading Trump by 7 points, 50% to 43%.
When third party candidates Howie Hawkins (Green Party) and Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian) were offered as choices, Biden’s lead drops from 8 points to 7 points, with 50% backing Biden, 43% choosing Trump, third party candidates receiving 1% each, and 4% undecided.
While Trump sees a slight advantage among male voters at 48% compared to Biden’s 44% Biden’s lead with female voters is far more substantial; 55% of female voters support Biden compared to 38% for Trump.
Biden also enjoys an overwhelming lead among non-white voters, leading 77% to 10% among Black voters and 67% to 27% with Hispanic voters.
Deeply divided and concerned about violence
Over 69% of likely voters said that the divisions in our country are greater than they were in the past, with 3% saying divisions are less deep and 22% saying that they are about the same.
On the topic of potential violence on Election Day and afterwards, both Democrats and Republicans show nearly equal concern, with 80% of Democrats and 71% of Republicans answering that they are “very/somewhat concerned” about this possibility.
On the issues
Among voters who say that jobs or the economy is most important to them, Trump leads Biden 82% to 11%, and while the economy is the most cited issue among voters, Biden sees substantial leads on other key issues voters mentioned.
Biden leads Trump 85% to 12% among those who cite COVID as their most important issue, as well as 87% to 10% for healthcare and 70% to 26% for character.
Voters remain divided along party lines on the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett; 91% of Republicans support the confirmation compared to 79% of Democrats opposing it. Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court Oct. 26 and subsequently sworn in.
Despite their opposition to Barrett’s nomination, Democrats are not united on the topic of expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court. Less than half of Democratic voters (44%) support expanding the number of justices, while 28% oppose this strategy. On the flip side, 78% of Republicans oppose adding justices to the Supreme Court.
Impact of the debate
Debate watchers were split on who won the final presidential debate, with 41% picking Biden and 38% choosing Trump. This marks a substantial improvement for Trump, who fared much worse after the first debate. Despite this, the poll suggests that the debate may prove to be less impactful for Trump.
Trump may also be disappointed to learn that one of his most common talking points, Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukraine and China, gets a similar reaction. Fifty-eight percent of voters say Hunter Biden’s dealings have “no impact at all” on their vote, and 49% believe that Joe Biden has not benefitted from Hunter’s relationship with those countries.
The nationwide Suffolk University/USA Today survey was conducted through live interviews of cell phone and landline users. The survey of 1,000 respondents was conducted October 23-27, 2020. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points. For the sample of 644 debate watchers, the margin of error is +/- 3.9 percentage points. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, [email protected].
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