Biden Opens Up a 16-Point Lead Over Trump Among Likely Voters

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, about the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CN) — After a week that featured a highly contentious presidential debate and a stay in the hospital following a positive Covid-19 diagnosis for President Donald Trump, new polling shows Democratic candidate Joe Biden is widening his lead over the president among likely voters.

With Election Day a month away and the race for president thrown into uncharted waters after Trump’s bout with the novel coronavirus, a CNN poll released Tuesday shows support for Biden has steadily increased amid the turmoil. Among the likely voters polled, 57% say they support Biden and just 41% say they are behind Trump, a 16-point lead for the former VP in a poll conducted entirely after the first presidential debate and mostly after Trump’s positive Covid-19 test went public.

A broad majority of voters say they trust Biden on a wide range of issues that have dominated the 2020 election cycle thus far. Roughly 60% of likely voters say they trust Biden more on the issues of the coronavirus outbreak, health care and racial inequality in the United States, compared to the roughly 40% of likely voters who said the same for Trump on those issues.

Another 57% say they trust Biden to choose better nominations for the Supreme Court and 55% say they think Biden can better manage crime in America.

On the economy, voters trust Biden and Trump in roughly equal measure, with 50% of voters preferring Biden and 48% preferring Trump.

While Biden leads on issues of policy, he also does well against the president on emotional or personal issues. Double-digit majorities of voters say they think Biden is the candidate who can best unite the county, generally “cares about people like you” and is the most honest and trustworthy candidate. Likely voters also say Biden has the better vision for the future, with a majority saying they think the former vice president has the clearest plan to solve the nation’s issues and would best keep Americans safe from harm while in office.

President Donald Trump removes his mask as he stands on the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Biden’s favorability ratings have also seen positive movement, with 52% of likely voters saying they have a generally positive impression of him. Just 39% of likely voters say they have a positive view of the president.

While Tuesday’s survey is the first CNN poll involving likely voters, comparing Tuesday’s results to responses from registered voters in September suggests that Biden has also made significant strides among crucial voting blocs that could help to decide the election.

Perhaps the most sizeable jump for the former VP is among women and voters of color. According to the poll, 66% of women favor Biden while 32% favor Trump — a nearly 10-point boost from September that includes significant gains among white women with college degrees and women of color. Among voters of color in general, support for Biden jumped 10 points with 69% of people of color now backing Biden and just 27% supporting Trump.

Trump, for his part, continues to lead among voting groups he has typically done well with. White men without college degrees back the president with 67% support.

Regardless of which candidate they support, a small majority of respondents say they plan to cast their ballots in person come Election Day. Just over half (54%) say they want to cast an in-person ballot while 30% say they plan on voting by mail. Another 14% say they plan in voting in person but will do so early.

The poll also reports that Biden supports are much more likely vote early or by mail, while those who plan on casting a ballot for Trump are much more likely to have every intention of casting it in person on Election Day.

One idea, however, unites the vast majority of all voters: the candidate that loses has a duty to respectfully concede to the victor, a feeling shared by nearly 90% of likely voters. But a small majority suspect Trump is not likely to accept the results if he loses.

Tuesday’s poll of 1,205 adults contained a 3.3% margin of error.

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