Biden increases lead over Trump

Trump’s ratings fall back as the US is engulfed by protests over George Floyd’s murder. The UK Conservatives also slide. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at the University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

In the FiveThirtyEight poll aggregate, Donald Trump’s ratings with all polls are 42.7% approve, 53.6% disapprove (net -10.9%). With polls of registered or likely voters, Trump’s ratings are 42.7% approve, 53.8% disapprove (net -11.1%). Since my article three weeks ago, Trump has lost about three points on net approval. His disapproval rating is at its highest since the early stages of the Ukraine scandal last November.

In the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Joe Biden’s lead over Trump has widened to 7.8%, up from 4.5% three weeks ago. That is Biden’s biggest lead since December 2019.

In the key states that will decide the Electoral College and hence the presidency, it is less clear. National and state polls by Change Research gave Biden a seven-point lead nationally, but just a three-point lead in Florida, a two-point lead in Michigan and a one-point lead in North Carolina. In Wisconsin, Trump and Biden were tied, while Trump led by one in Arizona and four in Pennsylvania.

This relatively rosy state polling picture for Trump is contradicted by three Fox News polls. In these polls, Biden leads by nine points in Wisconsin, four points in Arizona and two points in Ohio. Trump won Ohio by eight points in 2016, and it was not thought to be in play.

Ironically, Change Research is a Democrat-associated pollster, while Fox News is very pro-Trump. Fieldwork for all these state polls was collected since May 29, when the George Floyd protests began. A Texas poll from Quinnipiac University had Trump leading by just one point. Trump won Texas by nine points in 2016.

US daily coronavirus cases and deaths are down from their peak, and stock markets anticipate a strong economic recovery. But it is likely that a greater amount of economic activity will allow the virus to resurge. A strong recovery from coronavirus would assist Trump, but unemployment is a lagging indicator that recovers more slowly than the overall economy. The May US jobs report will be released Friday night in Australia.

Concerning the protests over the murder of George Floyd, in an Ipsos poll for Reuters conducted Monday and Tuesday, 64% said they sympathised with the protesters, while 27% did not. 55% disapproved of Trump’s handling of the protests, while just 33% approved. That’s well below Trump’s overall approval of 39% in that poll.

UK Conservatives slump after Dominic Cummings scandal

In late May, it was revealed that PM Boris Johnson’s advisor, Dominic Cummings, had breached quarantine rules during the coronavirus lockdown in March. However, Cummings did not resign and Johnson refused to sack him.

An Opinium poll for The Observer gave the Conservatives just a 43-39 lead over Labour, down from a 12-point lead the previous week. It is the lowest Conservative lead in that poll since Johnson became PM. Johnson’s net approval was down from +6 to -5. 68% thought Cummings should resign, and 66% thought Johnson should sack him if he did not resign.

However, a YouGov poll for The Times gave the Conservatives a ten-point lead, up from six points previously, implying that public anger may be short-lived. In general, the poll trend over the last two months has been towards Labour, as the UK’s coronavirus death toll has risen to be the second highest behind the US.

Another NZ poll has Labour in the high 50s

A Roy Morgan New Zealand poll gave Labour a 56.5% to 26.5% lead over National, concurring with two polls published in May. The poll was taken April 27 to May 24, so it does not account for the May 22 change in National leadership. New Zealand has just one active coronavirus case remaining, and has recorded no new cases since May 22. It increasingly appears they have succeeded in eliminating coronavirus.

19 comments on “Biden increases lead over Trump”

  1. Former RNC president Michael Steele says the most interesting thing about the polls is the slump in Republican support for Trump. Trump has enjoyed 95+% support from Republicans for some time now, that’s down to ~84% support, which Steele says is what has really rattled the president.

    He further says that that now-infamous walk across Lafayette Park and holding up the bible was wholly and solely for those people’s consumption. An attempt to not only get them back in the fold but to lock them in.

  2. I’m looking at various projections now, showing a blowout for Biden and I decided to compare them to this point in 2016, 2012 and 2008. Clinton was never doing this well, nor was Obama (either time.) There’s still a lot of time where something could happen to change things and I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch or encourage complacency but, by the way things are going psephologically, I find it hard to see Trump getting re-elected.

    Again, not declaring anybody the winner this far out but it seems Trump needs some massive miracle (or an extremely silent majority that no pollster has yet found) at this point because things are looking dire for him.

  3. yes look at electoral it appears Trump will not pick up any Clinton states….. and ARizona, and all the Blue wall states post 1992 are shifting to Biden. The senate is looking some where like 50/50 to 52/48 the democats way. 5 months is a long time to go…… but what ever Trump touches sort of turns to Sh*t. and he if becoming more and more eratic

  4. At this stage, it does look like Biden is the favourite, though of course, right now might be something of a low point for Trump (Covid cases at their likely peak, unemployment also at its height, riots sweeping the country – all of these will likely improve by November from where they are now).

    The Electoral College is where it’s at, of course, and here Biden seems to have the edge.

    Biden is pretty much assured of winning the following states:
    CA (55 EVs), CO (9), CT (7), DC (3), DE (3), HI (4), IL (20), MA (11), MD (10), ME (4*), MI (16), NJ (14), NM (5), NY (29), OR (12), RI (4), VA (13), VT (3) & WA (12), and these states are highly likely: AZ (11), NH (4), MN (10) & NV (6). This gives Biden a bank of 260 Electoral Votes.

    Trump can rely on these states:
    AK (3), AL (9), AR (6), ID (4), IN (11), KS (6), KY (8), LA (8), MO (10), MS (6), ND (3), NE (5*), OK (7), SC (9), SD (3), TN (11), UT (6), WV (5) & WY (3), with these states highly likely: IA (6), MT (3) & TX (38). This gives Trump a starting point of 170 EVs.
    (Note that both Maine and Nebraska split their EVs by Congressional District, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ve given Trump and Biden one each).

    This leaves us with FL (29), GA (16), NC (15), OH (18), PA (20) & WI (10) as the states most likely to go either way, and Trump needs to win all of them to get re-elected – Biden by contrast only needs one of them.

    Are there any states in the Biden column that Trump could peel off? Hard to see where, but Michigan, Arizona, New Hampshire and Minnesota seem the most likely, and Trump sources have been talking up New Mexico. On the other hand, hitherto safe Republican states like Iowa, Montana, Missouri and Texas all seem to be in play, requiring Trump to play defence in those states (though I suspect they will all stay Red in the end).

    Hard to see anything other than a big Biden victory in November, but of course, it’s still five months away, and anything could happen in that time.

  5. The Senate is also looking more likely for the Democrats (I don’t think anyone expect them to lose the House), though it’s probably a slightly higher hill to climb.

    Currently the score in the Senate is 53-47 to the Republicans. It seems almost certain that Doug Jones (D) won’t repeat his shock win in Alabama, and we can assume that his seat will return to the GOP, giving us an handicap score of 54-46. This means that the Dems must peel off 5 Republican Senators, or four plus the Presidency (as the VP has the tie-breaker vote).

    Polling is giving a big advantage to Mark Kelly (D) in Arizona and John Hickenlooper (D) in Colorado, so we can probably assume that they will both win, leaving the Dems needing at least two further seats to get control. The most likely ones look to to be Maine (Susan Collins may finally be reaching the and of the line) and Montana (where popular Governor Steve Bullock is ahead). There are other opportunities in North Carolina (currently line-ball according to polling, as it is the Presidential race, though Democratic Governor Cooper is well ahead in polling), Iowa and the two Georgia seats. Hard to see any state (apart from Alabama) where the GOP can pick up a Democratic seat.

    Right now, I’d guess that the Republicans will keep a narrow 51-49 majority (or at best a 50-50 tie), though if Biden wins in a blow-out, that might bring some of the less certain races into play.

  6. Also I think the almost certainty of a democrat win in the lower house is also a indication that Trump all things being equal being a one term president

  7. It’s great to see Jacinda Ardern being rewarded for her great performance. She has had to deal with three major crises over the last year (the Christchurch terrorist attack, the White Island volcano disaster, and now the Covid pandemic), and she and her government have been excellent each time.

    If Labour get a vote in the 50s, then they will of course be able to govern in their own right, but I’m hopeful that the Greens also make it over the 5% threshold, as it will be useful for Labour top have some alternatives up their sleeve. Things won’t always be as rosy for them over the next few years.

  8. The only really interesting poll is the one for the NZ general election, which is coming soon. The USA polls are moderately interesting because the election is this year, although in November…. but I don’t see Trump recovering. Well, in fact he should have never been elected president in the first place. I can only hope that enough of those voters in the Mid West and in Florida (and indeed elsewhere) have De-Moronised themselves after almost 4 years of Trump lunacy. The Republican Party is obviously split, which is good: pro-Trump vs anti-Trump (yep, unbelievable as it may sound, there are still some reasonably decent people among the Republicans). Now it’s essential for the Democratic party to unite behind Biden. Selecting Warren as VP would do the trick. For the Democrats what’s necessary is not so much to unite Blacks and Whites, as Biden has got great traction among the African American population, what’s necessary is to unite Left and Moderates….

  9. “He further says that that now-infamous walk across Lafayette Park and holding up the bible was wholly and solely for those people’s consumption. An attempt to not only get them back in the fold but to lock them in.”…

    …. On the other hand that kind of unconvinced and undemocratic stunt (peaceful demonstrators violently pushed over just to allow him to take a photo opportunity, holding the Bible upside down?) can only strengthen the resolve of those who were going to vote for Trump no matter what, whereas he is likely going to lose quite a few moderate Republicans, including some Evangelical ones.

  10. Two pieces of US news, one bad for Trump and one good.

    By 66-32, voters in an Ipsos poll disapprove of Trump’s handling of the protests over George Floyd.

    But the US unemployment rate unexpectedly fell 1.4% to 13.3% in May, defying predictions of close to 20% unemployed. 2.5 million jobs were created in May.

  11. UK Sunday polls show a continuing slide in the Tory lead over Labour, down to about three points now.

    Britain Elects@britainelects
    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 43% (-)
    LAB: 40% (+1)
    LDEM: 6% (-)
    GRN: 3% (-)

    , 04 – 05 Jun

    Britain Elects @britainelects
    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 41% (-2)
    LAB: 38% (-)
    LDEM: 8% (-)

    , 04 – 05 Jun

    Britain Elects @britainelects
    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 41% (-4)
    LAB: 39% (+5)
    LDEM: 7% (-1)
    GRN: 4% (-)

    , 03 Jun

  12. After the last Presidential election there were allegations of a gerrymander, in some States the electoral college votes did not reflect support accurately.
    If the Democrats control House, Congress and White House can one vote one value happen in the next 4 year term or is any problem built in like our Tasmanian HOR numbers.

  13. The USA does have strict equal population of electorates in all elections except the Senate (2 Senators per state) and the Electoral College, because of the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution.

    They do have actually gerrymandering (as opposed to malapportionment, which is the technical name for unequal electorate sizes), where they have electorate boundaries entirely chosen for partisan reasons (Named for when Governor Gerry was involved in introducing a scheme that hade and electorate that looked like a salamander).

  14. Interesting figures in the UK, though given how many years the next General Election is, only of academic interest. What is probably suggests is that a) people have marked down Boris the Clown for his hamfisted Covid response; b) people are taking a fresh look at Labour now that they have someone vaguely electable at the helm; and c) the electorate in the UK has become highly polarised, with people sticking more rigidly to one of the major parties.

    The next election, however, is not due until late 2024 (though I’d imagine that it will be held in the northern spring of that year, as per the usual practice), so there is still a lot of water to travel under the bridge before then.

  15. The next UK election will be in May 2024. It’s five years after the last election, but because the previous election was held in December, the clock is reset so that effectively it assumes the last election was held in May 2019 not December.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *