According to a CNN poll, President Trump leads former vice president Joe Biden in key swing states. However, the presumptive Democratic nominee has opened a national lead.
The poll, conducted by SRSS, shows Biden beating Trump 51-46 nationally. However, the same CNN poll puts Trump ahead of Biden in battleground states.
Biden, primed for the Democratic nomination after a long career as a senator and vice president, is hoping to avoid the mistakes Hillary Clinton made in 2016. Like the former vice president, Clinton also held a big national lead over Trump in key swing states at the same stage of the race.
The Trump and Biden poll numbers aside, Republicans would take encouragement in the victory of Mike Garcia in CA-25. This is the first time since 1998 that a Republican has flipped a Democratic seat in California. The support Garcia got from independents would certainly give Republicans hope going into November.
Both Candidates on the Defense
The poll numbers would do little to change the nature of both the Trump and Biden campaign.
The Biden campaign is trying to build momentum towards the convention right now. The current stay-at-home live stream campaigning model is a new reality Biden has to deal with. It doesn’t look like he is comfortable with the live stream outreach either since he is an old-school retail politician. His digital strategy invited criticism from trusted Obama aides David Axelrod and David Plouffe who encouraged him to create more exciting TV moments.
This is not the end of Biden’s troubles. Allegations of sexual assault against him are gaining momentum. Many Democratic operatives wanted Biden to come out and deny the allegations much earlier than he did. The story is in the mainstream now, each development covered aggressively by the media. The CNN poll putting him five points ahead of Trump would be a relief, but Biden needs to do more.
President Trump faces turmoil of another kind. His handling of the coronavirus pandemic is coming under attack from all sides. Even former President Obama called the White House’s handling a ‘chaotic disaster’ in a leaked audio clip.
Even though Trump leads Biden in the poll, he is still the one responsible for handling the current pandemic. The challenge of taking the country through a pandemic would crumble the best of administrations. Trump’s grappling with media is also not helping him build prolonged favorability.
How Seriously Should Biden and Trump take a Poll Right Now?
If there’s anything the last few months have taught us, it’s that a lot can change in a few months. Both Trump and Biden know the next six months could seem like six years to their campaigns and the American public.
While Biden will take heart from the fact that he leads Trump nationally, the poll is still six months away from the general. The president, on the other hand, will hope Biden fails to build any kind of momentum in the lead up to the convention.
The CNN poll also went through potential running mates on the Democratic ticket. Amongst names like Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Amy Klobuchar, and Gretchen Whitmer, Elizabeth Warren had the best favorability numbers. She is also the candidate with the maximum name recognition. These numbers comprised of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters.
(Image Credit – Gage Skidmore)