With one day before the U.S. election, former vice president Joe Biden holds a double-digit national lead over President Donald Trump, a final NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found.
Biden is ahead of Trump nationally by 10 points among registered voters, 52 per cent to 42 per cent, according to the poll conducted Oct. 29-31. Two weeks ago, the poll showed Biden ahead 11 points.
More than 93 million voters have already cast their ballot ahead of the election. And out of the 68 per cent of voters who say they have already cast their ballot or plan to vote early, Biden is ahead, 61 per cent to 35 per cent, according to the poll.
The poll said a slim majority of Americans (52 per cent) disapproved of the job Trump is doing as president and 45 per cent approved.
A majority of voters also said they’re unhappy with how the president has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Monday afternoon, political analyst websites FiveThirtyEight and Decision Desk HQ both project Biden as the winner of the 2020 U.S. election. Biden is predicted to win 350 electoral votes and Trump 188, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Compared with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Biden is sitting in a more comfortable lead than Hillary Clinton was this close to voting day.
One day before the 2016 election, Clinton was ahead in the polls with 44 per cent of the vote and Trump was at 39 per cent, according to an Ipsos poll from that time
Although Biden is leading in national polls, as 2016 played out, Trump could benefit from the Electoral College. The margins between the two candidates are slimmer in battleground states than the national popular vote.
There are six battleground states in the 2020 election. Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida and North Carolina are viewed as most likely to determine the outcome.
FiveThirtyEight said Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania is “solid” but not spectacular, meaning come election day, the swing state could remain red. And according to the non-partisan organization, Pennsylvania is the most likely “tipping-point state,” and a lot of Biden’s chances in the Electoral College hinge on what happens in Pennsylvania.
Biden holds a five-point lead over Trump among likely voters in Pennsylvania, according to the latest Monmouth University Poll (conducted between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1).
Demographically, Biden holds a large lead among registered voters of colour over Trump (81 per cent to 10 per cent). He also leads among white college graduates by 56 per cent to 40 per cent, while Trump leads among white voters without a four-year degree by 58 per cent to 37 per cent.
The latest Ipsos polling (conducted between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1) showed Biden ahead with a seven-point lead, with 51 per cent of respondents choosing Biden and 44 per cent picking Trump. Last week, Biden had 49 per cent support, while Trump was at 45 per cent.
In terms of issues that Pennsylvanians are concerned about going into the election, coronavirus ranked number one, and jobs and the economy trailed second, the polling showed.
Wisconsin and Michigan
Biden leads Trump by nearly 10 percentage points in Wisconsin and Michigan, according to the latest Ipsos polling.
Biden has led Trump in the two states in every Ipsos weekly poll that began in mid-September, and his leads have ticked higher over the past two weeks.
In Michigan, 52 per cent of respondents said they would vote for Biden and 42 per cent chose Trump. Last week’s polling had Biden ahead at 51 per cent and Trump at 44 per cent, Ipsos polling showed.
The polling showed that respondents in Wisconsin also favoured Biden (53 per cent) compared to Trump (44 per cent). Last week Biden was at 51 per cent of the votes and Trump at 43 per cent.
Trump seems to be gaining ground in Arizona, according to recent polling.
A New York Times/Siena College Research Institute poll conducted Oct. 26-30, showed Biden with a six-point lead in Arizona.
Forty-nine per cent of respondents said they would vote for Biden and 43 per cent chose Trump.
However, a previous New York Times/Siena College Research Institute poll from the beginning of October showed Biden leading by eight points (49 to 41 per cent).
Florida remains a tight race between the two candidates.
A New York Times/Siena College Research Institute poll, conducted Oct. 27-31, showed Biden with a three-point lead in Florida.
Forty-seven per cent of respondents said they would vote for Biden and 44 per cent picked Trump.
Ipsos polling from the week before (Oct. 14-20) showed Biden ahead by four points, with 50 per cent of respondents saying they would vote for him and 46 per cent choosing Trump.
Polling also shows a very close race in North Carolina.
The latest polls from Morning Consult (conducted Oct. 22-31) show Biden leading Trump by one percentage point in North Carolina.
Can the polls lie?
Ryan Hurl, assistant professor of political science at the University of Toronto in Scarborough, said the polls show that “Biden is in a better position than Clinton was in 2016.”
“But there is still an outside possibility that we’re dealing with the biggest ‘shy Tory’ event in modern history,” he said.
The “shy Tory” is when “conservative voters sometimes don’t tell the truth about their voting preferences,” Hurl explained. This has also been called the “shy Trump” effect, which is when Trump supporters are too “shy” to admit they back him.
“This might be happening and you can understand how that could be. This is an era of distrust in institutions and that can extend to polling, such as people not answering polls or deliberately being deceptive,” he added.
Clifford Young, president of Ipsos Public Affairs, said there is always a chance that Trump can still win, as people may change their minds when voting or have been dishonest to pollsters.
“It does look like Biden is going to win, but we were surprised in 2016,” Young said.
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