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President Joe Biden with supporters at a pre-Wing Ding march from Molly McGowan Park in Clear Lake, Iowa, August 9, 2019. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Monmouth poll: Biden holds 10-point lead over Trump

Nearly three-quarters of all voters concerned about election interference

By Nikita Biryukov, August 11 2020 12:00 pm

Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a 10-point lead over President Donald Trump, according to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday.

The president trails the presumptive Democratic nominee 51%-41% with 4% of registered voters undecided. The margin is similar to results from Monmouth polls conducted in early and late June but wider than those from spring months.

“Trump has stopped his slide in the poll, but Biden maintains a lead among all registered voters nationally,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Both candidates’ approvals are underwater, though Trump is the less-liked of the two candidates.

Biden’s approvals were five points underwater, 42%-47%, while Trump’s approvals were a lackluster 40%-54%. Still, the results are a small improvement for Trump, whose approval rating was 38%–57% in early June.

A little more than a fifth of respondents, 22% said they had unfavorable views of both candidates. Among them, Biden was a clear favorite, winning 55% support to the incumbent’s 17%.

Voters’ confidence moving into the election is low. Just 63% said they are very or somewhat confident in a fair an accurate election this November.

A larger majority of voters, 72%, said they were very or somewhat concerned about interference undermining the legitimacy of this year’s races.

Democrats, 78%, were the most concerned about that prospect, followed by independents, 70%, and Republicans, 66%.

Four in ten Democrats feared Russia would again interfere with America’s elections, while 9% said they feared the same of from China. Those concerns barely registered with Republicans, though China was a greater concern for members of that party.

Still, few Republicans, 12%, feared China would interfere, and an even smaller cohort of the party, 6%, feared interference from Russia.

Democrats showed some concern that Trump, 31%, or the Republican Party, 16%, would meddle with the election. Barely any Democrats, 2%, were concerned about the U.S. Postal Service spiking the election, despite mail delays that are likely to impact widely-used mail-in ballots in November.

Most Republicans, 55%, said they believed the Democratic Party would be responsible for election meddling, with another 11% pointing to vote-by-mail ballots.

“The U.S. intelligence community has been unambiguous in calling out Russia, and to a lesser extent China, for both past and planned election interference,” Murray said. “However, the Trump camp has been fairly successful in deflecting their supporters away from these actors and instead focusing on Democratic efforts to expand voting access.”

The split on mail-in voting is a purely partisan one. Most voters, 58% think expanding vote-by-mail access is a good idea, with much of the support coming from Democrats, 90%. Few Republicans, just 20%, think expanded vote by mail is a good idea, while 60% of independents said the same.

Close to half of all voters, 49%, say they are very or somewhat likely to cast a ballot by mail, though those results are also split sharply along party lines. Close to three-quarters of Democrats, 72%, along with 48% of independents, expect to vote by mail.

Just 22% of Republican said the same.

Voters are slightly more confident of Biden’s ability to lead a COVID-19 recovery effort. Nearly half, 48%, of voters said they were very or somewhat confident in Biden’s capacity to lead, while just 45% said t he same of Trump.

But more voters thought Trump was unprepared to lead recovery efforts, with 54% saying they had little or no confidence in his ability. Fewer voters, 48%, said the same of Biden.

“This is the type of result we have been seeing on issue questions throughout the campaign. Voters tend to have strongly held views of Trump, both positive and negative,” Murray said. “Biden does slightly better in the net ratings overall. It’s just that voters don’t have as firm a sense of the challenger.”

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