Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has a 16-point lead over President Donald Trump among likely voters nationwide, according to a new survey released less than a month from Election Day.
A CNN poll published Tuesday reports that a majority of likely voters surveyed, 57 percent, prefer Biden, while 41 percent favor Trump. The previous version of the same poll, conducted in late August and early September, did not survey likely voters but showed Biden with an 8-point lead among registered voters, 51-43 percent.
The latest CNN poll was conducted last Thursday through Sunday, after the first presidential debate last Tuesday night and mostly after Trump’s public announcement last Friday that he had tested positive for Covid-19. He was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and returned to the White House on Monday evening.
The general election campaign has remained remarkably steady in recent months despite numerous major news events and historic upheaval in American life, including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and anti-racism protests that have swept the country.
Still, Biden had consistently notched high-single-digit or low-double-digit leads over Trump, while also maintaining advantages in several swing states. As of Tuesday morning, Biden was ahead of Trump by 8.5 points nationally, according to a RealClearPolitics average of general election polling conducted from Sept. 21-Oct. 4.
Although Biden’s national edge is eye-popping, pollsters have lent greater credence to surveys of individual states in the closing weeks of the race. Those statewide polls of a handful of battlegrounds are believed to be more determinative of the Electoral College outcome.
Most political analysts predicted former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would capture the White House in 2016 based on the strength of her national polling. Although she did win the popular vote, Trump won the Electoral College and emerged victorious after narrowly flipping a group of Midwestern swing states and some other battlegrounds.
The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS from Oct. 1-4, surveying 1,001 likely voters with a margin of sampling error of plus-or-minus 3.6 percentage points.