President Trump continues to trail Democratic challenger Joe Biden nationally as more than 60 percent of voters say America’s response to the coronavirus has been unsuccessful and just one-in-five believe the U.S. economy is on solid footing.
Those are the major findings from the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which was conducted during the pandemic that has killed more than 170,000 Americans and as the presidential race enters a new phase, with the party conventions beginning on Monday just days after Biden’s selection of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his running mate.
According to the survey, Biden leads Trump nationally by 9 points among registered voters, 50 percent to 41 percent, and the former vice president holds double-digit advantages over Trump on the coronavirus, immigration, health care, race relations and uniting the country.
What’s more, the poll shows Harris with a higher net personal rating than either Trump or Biden.
What also stands out in the poll is how stable Biden’s lead over Trump has been during the past year, ranging from 6 to 11 points in the last nine NBC News/WSJ surveys.
“Clearly, Biden is in the lead. Clearly, Trump has a lot of problems,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
“Biden’s lead has been about as stable as they come, said political analyst Harry Enten. “Since the beginning of June, he’s been up by around 8 to 10 points. We’ll see whether the convention period, that begins tomorrow, alters the race. For now though, we can say Biden’s doing better than any challenger heading into the major party conventions since scientific polling began.”
In the 13 previous elections in which an incumbent was running for another term, no challenger has ever been at or above 50% in the polls at this point in the campaign.
Trump’s challenge ahead of his convention, which begins on Aug. 24, is expanding support beyond his committed Republican base, with an approval rating and ballot position stuck in the low 40s.
“That seems to me to be short of where he needs to be to win an election,” said McInturff, the GOP pollster.
In the current poll, Biden maintains his advantages with:
- Blacks (88 percent back him versus 8 percent for Trump)
- Latinos (57 percent to 31 percent)
- Voters ages 18-34 (54 percent to 30 percent)
- Independents (49 percent to 25 percent)
- Whites with college degrees (58 percent to 35 percent)
- Women (57 percent to 36 percent)
- Seniors (50 percent to 43 percent).
Trump, meanwhile, leads among:
- Whites (49 percent to 42 percent)
- Men (47 percent to 43 percent)
- Whites without college degrees (59 percent to 27 percent).
In the combined 11 battleground states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — Biden is ahead of Trump by 7 points, 49 percent to 42 percent.
The CBS News Battleground Tracker model has Biden up in states worth 279 electoral votes, slightly more than the 270 needed to win in November.
Trump leads in states worth 163 electoral votes and 96 electoral votes are currently Toss Ups.
Fifty-eight percent of Biden voters say their support for the former vice president is based more on their feelings against Trump, while 38 percent say it’s based on their support for Biden.
By contrast, 74 percent of Trump voters are more for the president, versus 20 percent who are more against Biden.
Interest in the upcoming election continues to be sky-high, with 79 percent of all voters registering either a “9” or “10” on a 10-point scale in interest, which is greater than interest in previous presidential elections at this same point in time.