Virus & Racial Strife Peeling Voter Support From Trump

Vice President Joe Biden and Presidet Donald Trump will vie for voters in November. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(CN) — Former Vice President Joe Biden enjoys a commanding lead over President Donald Trump in the race for the White House, according to a new poll, due in part to overwhelming support from women and nonwhite voters.

A New York Times/Siena College poll released Wednesday reveals that Biden, who has largely been leading the president in most polls conducted in recent weeks, seems to be widening that lead further as the general election begins to take shape. The poll of 1,337 registered voters gives Biden an impressive 14-point advantage over Trump, 50%-36%. The remaining 14% in the poll say that they either plan on voting for another candidate, are not voting at all or haven’t made up their mind yet.

Biden’s advantage here seems to be coming from strong support from several crucial groups. He currently leads Trump by 22 points among woman and 3 points among men, and holds a commanding lead among voters aged 18 to 34 (34 points) and is 23 points ahead among voters 35 to 49.

The former vice president also scores big over Trump among voters of color: He commands a 74-point advantage over Trump among black voters and a 39-point lead among Hispanic voters, according to the poll.

Another key group Biden does well among is college-educated women. While 2016 exit polls showed that women with a college degree broke for then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by just 7% over Trump, Wednesday’s poll reveals they currently support Biden over Trump by nearly 40%.

The troubling numbers for Trump span into groups he’s previously done well with. While he leads Biden among white voters overall by a point, he’s down 22 points among white voters under 45.

The polling suggests Trump’s setbacks may be in part due to how voters feel about his response to the widespread racial justice demonstrations taking place around the county.

While Trump has received notable backlash for how he has conducted himself during a time of intense racial strife, many voters support the protesters. White voters under 45 broadly support the Black Lives Matter movement, and nearly 7 in 10 white voters under 45 say that the killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer was part of a broader pattern of excessive police violence used against black people in this country.

Overall, just 33% of respondents say Trump has done a good job handling issues of race in America. Sixty-one percent say he’s done a poor job.

Respondents also have issues with the way Trump has handled the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. As the coronavirus death toll recently exceeded 120,000 in the United States, around 60% of voters say they disapprove of Trump’s pandemic response. Among these voters giving a thumbs down to the president are majorities of both male and white voters.

And most respondents aren’t on board with the president’s ideas to reopen the economy — and the country — as quickly as possible. By a roughly 20-point margin, more voters say the priority of the federal government should be to help contain the virus, even if such measures come at an economic cost.

In what could prove to be a dire development for Trump, these slipping numbers seem to be taking their toll on one of Trump’s most ardent supports: white seniors. Nearly 40% of white voters over 65 — a demographic that has been long crucial for Republicans — say they disapprove of Trump’s handling of both the coronavirus and race relations.

Trump still as some supporters, at least according to Wednesday’s poll. White voters without a college degree say they will continue to back Trump this election by a 19-point margin, and he continues to enjoy wide support from voters who classify themselves as very conservative.

And despite the responses regarding reopening the economy during the pandemic, many voters continue to give the president their trust when it comes to the economy in general. Half of voters say Trump has done a good job on managing the American economy during his time in office, while 45% say the opposite.

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