It seems that Biden is gaining an advantage over Trump when it comes to independent voters. Jasmine Razeghi takes a closer look.  

On June 8th, CNN released a poll conducted by SSRS that revealed what the election results would look like if they happened now. The survey was conducted on June 2-5, 2020 by telephone with a sample of 1,259 respondents. Among these respondents, 32% described themselves as democrats, 25% described themselves as Republicans, and 44% described themselves as independent or belonging to another party. 

Trump’s Approval Rating

Trump’s overall approval rating has decreased 7% since the May 7-10, 2020 survey conducted by SSRS as he stands with 38% approval. His disapproval rating is now at 57%. 

When asked about how the President has handled race relations, surveyors responded with 63% disapproval. There has been no change since this question was asked back in September of 2017. 

This is important to consider since the murder of George Floyd, the President’s response to the murder, and Trump’s management of national protests have not seemed to affect his disapproval rating.  

How Does Biden Compare to Trump?

When surveyors were asked, “if Joe Biden were the Democratic Party’s candidate and Donald Trump were the Republican Party’s candidate, for whom would you be more likely to vote?” the former Vice President had 53% support while the President only received 43% support. 

When asked which presidential candidate would handle a particular issue better, the responses were consistently in favor of Biden with the economy as an exception. 

Asked about the response to the coronavirus outbreak, 55% favored Biden while 41% favored Trump. Race relations had 63% support for Biden and only 41% for Trump. Surveyors were questioned about which candidate would better handle leading the nation in times of crisis and 55% supported Biden while 41% supported Trump on this issue. However, the President has had consistently higher support in the months of April, May, and June in regard to the economy compared to the Vice President. Trump received 51% support while Biden received 46%. 

Though Biden is leading in support, his potential voters are not necessarily pro-Biden, but instead, anti-Trump. 

When surveyors were asked, “Is that more a vote FOR Joe Biden or more a vote AGAINST Donald Trump?” only 37% of voters support Biden while 60% of supporters are simply voting for Biden because they are against Trump. When asked, “Is that more a vote FOR Donald Trump or more a vote AGAINST Joe Biden?” surveyors responded with 70% pro-Trump support and only 27% anti-Biden support. This also speaks to the strength of the Trump base as America heads into election season in the coming months.

Why We Cannot Be Certain

There are many factors that could play a role in Biden’s current lead. As America is in the middle of protests and an unprecedented pandemic, there is no certainty that these polls could accurately predict the November election results. But, as of right now, Biden has mostly strong support. 

Leadership, race relations, and the coronavirus are all ongoing issues that certainly will not be resolved by November 2020. Conveniently, these are all issues that his supporters prefer Biden to handle.

Trump voters are committed to the President and most of Biden’s support is based on voters who do not want Trump for a second term rather than voters who support the Vice President’s campaign. Perhaps, the economy, which has been so far Trump’s key re-election ticket, could present a roadblock for Biden come election day but what happens between now and then remains open to be seen. 

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