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Voters split on whether Trump, Biden will win first debate: poll

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Voters are split on whether President Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden will win the first presidential debate on Tuesday, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris released exclusively to The Hill. 

Fifty-one percent of respondents said Trump would walk away as the victor, while 49 percent said they believed Biden would be victorious. 

The same survey found that that 62 percent of respondents said they thought the media was “easy” on Biden, while 35 percent said the same about Trump. 

The findings come just one day before Biden and Trump face off for the first time on the debate stage. Tuesday’s forum will be moderated by “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace. The Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University will co-host the event at Cleveland’s Health Education Campus.

The debate is expected to touch on a number of topics, including the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, and the fallout over a New York Times investigation that found he paid just $750 in federal income tax in both 2016 and 2017. 

Trump said on Sunday that his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) are assisting him in preparing for the event. Ron Klain, who ran for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s debate prep, is overseeing Biden’s preparations. 

Recent polls have shown a narrowing horserace between Biden and Trump in a number of battleground states as Election Day nears. The same Harvard CAPS/Harris poll showed Biden leading Trump nationally by two points among likely voters. 

“While the president has been gaining in approval, Biden’s numbers have stayed about the same going into this all-important debate,” Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll director Mark Penn told The Hill. 

The poll was carried out from Sept. 22 to Sept. 24 among 1,314 registered voters. 

It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll throughout 2020.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

Tags Chris Wallace Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Mark Penn Rudy Giuliani
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