Trump gets post-debate boost in new polls after Biden’s poor performance


NEW YORK, Jul 04 (APP):: Former US President Donald Trump has expanded his lead over President Joe Biden in the aftermath of last week’s debate to 6 points, up from 3 just a week prior, according to separate opinion polls published by two leading American newspapers — The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times and Siena College poll showed Trump, a Republican, building a 6 percentage point lead – 49% to 43% – over Biden, a Democrat, among registered voters that the Times considered likely to cast ballots in the Nov. 5 election. It was Trump’s largest lead in a Times/Siena poll since 2015, when he was campaigning ahead of his 2016 presidential election victory.

Among all registered voters in the poll, Trump led by 9 points.

The Wall Street Journal poll showed Trump with a 6 point lead over Biden, compared to a 2 point lead in a survey that the Journal carried out in February.

In both polls, which were conducted nationwide, respondents noted that Biden’s age, 81, was weighing on his appeal.

Some 80% of respondents in the Journal poll, which surveyed 1,500 registered voters from June 29 through July 2, said Biden was too old to seek a second term. That poll had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Biden is facing the roughest stretch of his more than yearlong campaign for a second term in the White House. This, after his halting delivery and stumbling answers at the debate with Trump in Atlanta last Thursday, sparked widespread panic in the Democratic Party and spurred calls from political pundits, editorial writers and some party donors for Biden to step aside as the party’s 2024 standard-bearer.

However, Biden’s campaign has repeatedly insisted that the president has no intention of dropping out of the race.

The debate was still less than a week ago, but early polling coming out immediately following the debate has mostly shown Trump either maintaining his lead over Biden or growing it slightly. The Times result with likely and registered each are a 3-point swing in favor of Trump compared to before the debate.

The poll showed an uptick in the percentage of voters concerned about his age. Pollsters found 74 percent say he’s too old to serve as president, an increase of 5 points from before the debate.

That includes 59 percent of Democrats, up 8 points, and 79 percent of independents.

But the poll actually did not show a major increase in the percentage who want Biden to be replaced. Among Democrats, the percentage who want a different nominee increased 2 points to 47 percent, while the percentage who want Biden dropped 4 points to 48 percent.

Independents remained basically the same, still at 72 percent who want a different nominee and about 20 percent who want Biden.

The White House and Biden campaign have sought to play damage control over the past few days and emphasize that Biden plans to stay in the race.

Campaign Chair Jen O’Malley Dillon argued in a memo obtained by The Hill that internal battleground polling shows the contest between Biden and Trump is a “steady race.” It referenced that a Times/Siena poll was expected to be released soon and show “a slightly larger swing.”

The memo states that the campaign estimates it is “down just 1 point in margin,” within the margin of error.

“Polls are a snapshot in time and we should all expect them to continue to fluctuate,” the memo states. “It will take a few weeks, not a few days, to get a full picture of the race.”

Biden campaign pollster Molly Murphy said in a statement following the release of the Times/Siena poll that the race is “incredibly tight.” She said Biden is narrowing Trump’s lead among independents but acknowledged that the campaign has “work to do” to bring in its coalition.

Biden did reduce Trump’s lead among independents in the latest poll.

Ms. Murphy also noted that Times political analyst Nate Cohn said the results do not mark a “fundamental” change in the race.

“The work our campaign is doing on the ground will be critical to win over voters in a low trust and divided political environment,” Ms. Murphy said. “Trump’s team is doing virtually none of that work, while also being saddled with the baggage of a toxic agenda to undecided voters. President Biden has work to do, but will be running on mobilizing issues that we are confident will bring him to victory this November.”

But much of the data from the Times poll at least is not moving in the right direction for the Biden campaign. In a race that includes the third-party and independent candidates, Trump’s lead increased by 2 points to a 5-point lead, 42 percent to 37 percent.

Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had 8 percent.