Latest USA Voting Intention
(7–8 September)

September 9, 2020
Approval Rating | Coronavirus | Donald Trump | Joe Biden | The Economy | US Presidential Election 2020 | Voting Intention
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Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest weekly voting intention poll for the US Presidential Election finds Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by 9%, which represents a 1% increase in Biden’s lead compared to last week.[1] For the second week in a row, 49% of voters believe they will vote for Biden, whereas support for Trump decreased by one percentage point to 40%. The proportion of undecided voters remained at 7%. Altogether, our latest results are as follows:

Joseph R. Biden (Democrat) 49% (–)

Donald J. Trump (Republican) 40% (-1)

Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian) 1% (-1)

Howie Hawkins (Green) 1% (–)

Other (Another Third Party / Write In) 1% (–)

Don’t Know 7% (–)

Likelihood to vote increased by 1% compared to last week: 65% of respondents now say they will certainly vote. Significantly,  80% of likely Trump voters say they are certain to vote compared to 73% of likely Biden voters, which is a slight shift since last week, when 79% of likely Trump voters and 76% of likely Biden voters said they were certain they vote. Moreover, there has been a notable change compared to our polling a fortnight ago, when 75% of likely Trump voters and 76% of likely Biden voters said they were certain to vote. Whereas enthusiasm appears to be dwindling among likely Biden voters, it has increased among likely Trump voters.

The Enthusiasm Gap

The proportion of likely Trump voters who say they feel “very enthusiastic” about voting for Trump remained stable, with 64% expressing this view this week compared to 65% last week (a difference which lies within the margin of error of this poll). Meanwhile, the proportion of likely Biden voters who say they feel “very enthusiastic” about voting for Biden rose very slightly by one percentage point to 52% this week. Thus, the enthusiasm gap between the two candidates currently stands at 12%. As we noted in our recent Swing State polling, in which the enthusiasm gap was smallest in North Carolina, the one state Trump where is leading, this difference may, in fact, suggest that Biden is performing better among moderate, reluctant voters.

At this moment, 53% of likely Biden voters say they will vote for the Democratic candidate primarily because they support him, rather than because they oppose Trump (47%). The level of enthusiasm around Biden himself has risen slightly since last week, when 51% of likely Biden voters said they were voting for Biden primarily because they support the former Vice President. It may be the case that Biden’s return to the campaign trail has boosted the enthusiasm for his campaign. Nonetheless, this two percent increase does fall within the margin of error of the poll.

This week, 78% of likely Trump voters say they are voting for Trump primarily because they support him, rather than because they oppose Biden, which is a slight drop compared to last week and a fortnight ago. Nevertheless, an overwhelming majority of Trump’s likely voters say they support the incumbent President primarily due to their support for Trump rather than their opposition to Biden. 

At this stage, 36% believe that Biden is more likely to win the election in November, while 35% think Trump is more likely to win, a difference which lies within the margin of error of this poll. The gap has remained the same as last week. As the campaign enters into the final post-Labor Day stretch, the US public remain strongly divided on who they believe will win.

This week, the President’s net approval rating has remained at -7%, the same as last week. At this stage, 41% approve and 48% disapprove of the President’s overall job performance since taking office. Notably, 11% of those who voted for Trump in 2016 say that they disapprove of his job performance, an increase from 7% last week. On the other hand, 11% of those who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 now say that they approve of the President’s overall job performance, compared to 8% last week

Coronavirus and Key Policy Areas

The President’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic appears to be a key reason why he continues to trail Biden in our poll. A clear majority (58%) of the US public continue to believe that the extent to which the coronavirus pandemic has so far spread within the United States could have been avoided, while 42% think the spread was inevitable. Nevertheless, only a third (33%) of those likely to vote for Trump in 2020 say the spread of the pandemic could have been avoided, which is a decline from 38% last week. The overwhelming majority (80%) of Biden voters believe the current impact of coronavirus could have been avoided.  

Although the public generally considers the President’s handling of the public health crisis to have been inadequate, a clear plurality (30%) consider that the economy is the key policy area most likely to determine how they vote in the November Presidential Election. Only a fifth (20%) consider that healthcare is the key policy area, while 8% believe that issues around law and order will determine how they vote.

At this stage, therefore, both candidates are earnestly attempting to convince the public they are the one who could best produce a strong economic recovery. For now, a slight plurality (41%) continue to believe that Biden is more likely to lead a strong economic recovery rather than Trump (39%). Biden’s lead in relation to this question is 1% lower than last week.  

 

Overall, Biden continues to hold a considerable 9% lead over Trump in this week’s poll. Nevertheless, likely Trump voters are significantly more likely to say they are certain to vote in comparison to likely Biden voters. Trump continues to maintain stronger enthusiasm amongst his voter base, although an increasing majority of Biden voters are now enthusiastic about his campaign and the figure of Biden himself.

To find out more information about this research contact our research team. Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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[1] Data were weighted to the profile of adults (18+) in the United States. Data were weighted by age, gender, region, ethnicity/race, education level and 2016 Presidential Election Vote. Targets for each weighting were derived from the official estimates of the United States Census and the results of the 2016 Presidential Election.

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