Biden ahead in polls 1 day before US election, but Trump can still win

2020-11-02 19:34:18
Biden ahead in polls 1 day before US election, but Trump can still win

With just one day left before the US presidential election, Democratic nominee Joe Biden holds a commanding national lead over Republican President Donald Trump amid deep voter concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

But Trump is keeping his hopes alive by staying competitive in the swing states that could decide the White House race.

Biden's national lead over Trump has stayed relatively steady in recent months as the public health crisis has persisted. He is ahead 51% to 43% in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll taken Oct. 27-29.

But Trump is still close to Biden in enough state battlegrounds to give him the 270 state Electoral College votes needed to win a second term.

Reuters/Ipsos polls show that the race remains a toss up in Florida, North Carolina and Arizona.

Trump also trails by five points in Pennsylvania and nine points in Michigan and Wisconsin, three other battleground states that helped give him an Electoral College win in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote.

But even without Michigan and Wisconsin, Trump can win again if he holds all of the other states he won in 2016.

Trump's deficit in the polls has been driven in part by an erosion in support from two big parts of his winning 2016 coalition, whites without a college degree and older Americans, and by public disapproval of his handling of the pandemic, which has become the dominant issue in the race.

Biden and Trump have taken starkly different approaches to managing COVID-19, which has killed more than 227,000 people in the United States and cost millions more their jobs.

Trump has repeatedly diminished the coronavirus threat and promised it will end soon, while Biden has vowed to prioritize more stringent efforts to contain it.

More than three-quarters of American adults say they are personally concerned about the COVID-19 crisis, and almost 60% disapprove of the way Trump has responded to it, Reuters/Ipsos polls show.

Biden earns higher marks than Trump on his ability to handle the pandemic, and about 30% of Americans say their vote this year is primarily driven by their perception of who would be better at handling the crisis.

Trump's response to the pandemic has hurt him with older Americans, who are most at risk from the virus. Polls show a 4-point Biden lead among voters who are at least 55 years old, a group Trump carried by 14 points in 2016.

Trump's advantage with non-college whites, another big component of his winning coalition in 2016, also has dwindled this year. The latest polls show Trump leading among non-college whites by 18 percentage points, compared to 30 points in 2016.

Biden also has been successful at cutting into Trump's support from college-educated white women, suburban men and independents.

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