A new national poll of registered voters from Monmouth University released Thursday gives Joe Biden a slight edge over Trump. The poll found support for Biden at 48 percent, and support for Trump at 44 percent. Due to the poll’s 3.6 margin of error, that is basically a statistical tie.
The poll is virtually unchanged from their survey from a month ago, suggesting that Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is neither helping or hurting him.
A plurality of voters, 36 percent, said Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic will not impact his reelection efforts. Thirty-one percent said his response makes his reelection less likely, compared to 27 percent who said it is more likely he’ll get reelected.
After getting an initial job approval rating bump in the weeks following the coronavirus outbreak, Trump’s approval rating has since slipped.
The Monmouth survey found that 42 percent of voters have a favorable view of Trump, compared to 50 percent negative. Last month, Trump was at 46 positive and 49 negative.
Biden’s favorable rating is split, with 41 having a positive view and 42 viewing him negatively. That’s mostly unchanged from last month, but it’s a strong improvement from February, when Biden was at 40 percent positive and 53 percent negative.
Of course, in terms of the election, national polls are basically irrelevant. Remember 2016? Aside from a few outliers, Hillary Clinton led in virtually every national poll. National polls don’t take into account that the presidential election is not a national election, but a combination of elections of all the states and Washington D.C. Hillary’s margin of victory in California, for example, was enough to give her the edge in the national popular vote, but not enough to win the Electoral College. It’s likely that polls in 2020 will follow a similar trend.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis