Poll: Biden holds narrow 3-point lead over Trump nationally

 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFighting a virus with the wrong tools Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing MORE holds a slim lead over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE in the race for the White House, according to a new Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday. 

The poll shows Biden with the support of about 48 percent of registered voters, while Trump trails at 45 percent. The former vice president sees his strongest support from college-educated white women and from nonwhite voters. 

By contrast, Trump has the backing of a majority of white men — both college-educated and not — and non-college educated white women. 

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There’s a silver lining for Biden, however. He leads the president by 9 points — 50 percent to 41 percent — in approximately 300 “swing counties” where the margin of victory in the 2016 presidential election was less than 10 points for either Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton on US leading in coronavirus cases: Trump 'did promise "America First"' Democratic fears rise again as coronavirus pushes Biden to sidelines Clintons send pizza to NY hospital staff treating coronavirus MORE

Clinton won the cumulative vote in those counties four years ago, but only by a single percentage point. 

“The race looks tight right now between Trump and the probable Democratic nominee. But as we learned in 2016, the outcome will be determined by the Electoral College rather than the national popular vote,” said Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. 

“The poll results suggest Biden may actually be starting out with an advantage in crucial swing areas of the country.”

The Monmouth poll did not test Sanders’s prospects in a head-to-head match-up against Trump.

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Biden has yet to win the 1,991 delegates he needs to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. But he has amassed a nearly insurmountable lead over his only remaining rival, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Overnight Energy: Court upholds Trump repeal of Obama fracking rule | Oil price drop threatens fracking boom | EPA eases rules on gasoline sales amid coronavirus The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders pushes on in 2020 race MORE (I-Vt.), after racking up wins in 19 of the 27 states that have already voted in the nominating contest.

The primary race has largely ground to halt in recent days, however, as the coronavirus outbreak has forced the candidates to call off in-person campaigning and prompted several states to delay their primary elections out of concern that voting could hasten the spread of the disease. 

The coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest variables looming over the presidential election in November. It has taken a hefty toll on the U.S. economy in recent weeks as markets have heaved and local and state officials have ordered nonessential businesses to shut down amid the outbreak.

“The coronavirus situation is just starting to hit American family finances,” Murray said. “It will be important to track these trends and the impact they might have on the 2020 presidential contest.”

Monmouth polling released on Monday found that most Americans — 53 percent — say that the coronavirus outbreak has had a major impact on their daily lives, while another 32 percent say that it has had a minor impact. Only 15 percent reported that the pandemic has had no real impact on their lives.

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That same survey showed that about half of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, with 50 percent saying that he has done a good job in the face of the crisis. Forty-five percent said that he has done a bad job. 

The Monmouth University poll surveyed 754 registered voters by telephone from March 18 to 22. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.