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Nearly 60 percent disapprove of Trump's big rallies during pandemic: poll

Nearly 60 percent disapprove of Trump's big rallies during pandemic: poll
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Nearly 60 percent disapprove of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE holding rallies during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a USA Today-Suffolk University poll.

In contrast, the poll found 64 percent approve of Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE's decision to not hold large events with audiences given the risks of the coronavirus.

Cases of COVID-19 have been spiking across the country in the last two weeks, raising fears about a difficult winter. The coronavirus has been the dominant issue in the presidential campaign.

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The USA Today poll found Biden with an 8-point lead over Trump, 52 percent to 44 percent. The poll was taken after last week's presidential debate.

Trump has seen the big rallies as his ticket to a second term and has been barnstorming the country. Similar events in 2016 were seen as a key part of Trump's surprise victory over then-Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to name longtime aide Blinken as secretary of State: report Understanding mixed results in Pennsylvania key to future elections What's behind the divisions over Biden's secretary of Labor? MORE

Most of Trump's rallies have been held outside, which reduces the chance that COVID-19 will spread. But people have been packed together closely, and many have not worn masks at the rallies. 

Trump himself has politicized the wearing of masks, mocking reporters and Biden for wearing them.

The president has also publicly criticized Biden for his choice to hold small-scale events. For many of the events, the Biden campaign encourages attendees to be tested before and enforces mask-wearing and social distancing through white spray-painted circles, according to USA Today.

There was a heavy partisan breakdown in the USA Today polling.

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Nearly 95 percent of Democrats polled said that they do not approve of Trump's rallies, according to the poll, while 73 percent of Republicans said that they are in favor of the rallies. More young voters were likely to disapprove of the rallies, as were women.

Eighty-five percent of Black voters, 75 percent of Hispanic voters and 51 percent of white voters polled disapproved of the president's rallies.

USA Today and Suffolk University polled a total of 1,000 likely voters between Oct. 23 and 27. The margin of error was 3.1 percentage points.

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci urges Americans to conduct 'risk-benefit assessment' before holiday travel Sunday shows - Virus surge dominates ahead of fraught Thanksgiving holiday Fauci: 'We're in a very difficult situation at all levels' but 'help is on the way' MORE, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, has warned that such large rallies pose a risk as coronavirus cases rise across the U.S.