Voters would choose former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump “if the election were today,” according to a recent poll.
The USA Today/Suffolk University poll, conducted last week, shows Biden getting 44 percent of the votes to Trump’s 38 percent. This scenario includes a third-party candidate.
Without a third-party candidate, the poll reveals Biden is ten points ahead of Trump: 50 percent to 40 percent.
The poll is heavy on personality and light on policy, however, as evidenced by USA Today’s report on its poll:
The former vice president scored a higher net score (the positive rating minus the negative rating) then the president did on all six characteristics.
• “A strong leader.” Neither was seen by a majority of Americans as a strong leader, with 45 percent saying that described Trump and 52% that it didn’t. For Biden, 43 percent said it described him; 47 percent said it didn’t
• “Cares about people like me.” Biden swamped Trump when it came to empathy; 57 percent said it described the former vice president; just 39 percent said it described the president.
• “Knows how to get things done.” Trump fared a bit better. By 51 percent to 45 percent, voters said that described him; by 48 percent to 39 percent that it described Biden.
• “Stands up for U.S. interests.” Biden scored better on what has been a rallying cry for Trump and his troops. By 58 percent to 34 percent, those surveyed said that described Biden; by 53 percent to 43 percent they said it described Trump.
• “Honest and trustworthy.” This was Trump’s worst rating. By more than 2-1, 64 percent to 31 percent, those surveyed said that trait didn’t describe him. Views of Biden were better, although not exactly glowing. By 47 percent to 43 percent, those surveyed said he was honest and trustworthy.
• “Can work with foreign leaders.” Biden was much more likely to be seen as someone who could do this; 64 percent said it described the former vice president and 45 percent said it described the current president.
“The findings underscore the challenge the deadly pandemic is posing to the president’s political standing, which has proved durable through investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, a Senate impeachment trial over his dealings with Ukraine and other controversies,” USA Today reported. “Now Trump’s standing may be threatened in the face of questions about the response he and his administration have made to a disease that has cost more than 55,000 lives in the United States and imperiled the nation’s economy.”
Trump remains rock solid with Republicans, with nine out of ten casting a vote for the president’s reelection.
But Trump has lost ground with independents, down 18 percentage points from the same poll in December, 27 percent now compared with 45 percent in the earlier survey.
“The poll is clear about which candidate qualities align best with voters,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said in the USA Today report. “A central campaign theme for Trump will be about getting things done, while Biden will shape his campaign around caring about everyday people at home while working best with foreign leaders abroad.”
The poll of 1,000 registered voters, taken by landline and cell phone, has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
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