President Donald Trump’s approval ratings have been on the rise, and that appears to be reflected in polls that ask about a potential matchup against former Vice President Joe Biden. Among registered voters, Biden has 49 percent support compared with Trump’s 47 percent, according to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. That difference is well within the poll’s margin of error of 3.5 percentage points and marks an increase for the president, who was 7 points behind Biden last month. Among the general public, the former vice president enjoys a clear lead with 50 percent to Trump’s 44 percent.
Biden fared far better in a recent Fox News poll that gave him a 9-point advantage over Trump with 49 percent compared with 40 percent. That is pretty much unchanged from last month, when Biden had an 8-point advantage.
The Washington Post/ABC poll has Trump receiving his first positive approval rating among the general population, with 48 percent saying they approve of the job he is doing as president, while 46 percent disapprove. That is the highest approval rating in the poll that goes back to April 2017. Approval ratings are even higher when Americans were asked whether they approve of the job the president is doing on the coronavirus outbreak, with 51 percent expressing approval and 45 percent disapproval. Still, 51 percent of voters say they trust Biden more on health care, compared with 41 percent for Trump. That difference is flipped when it comes to the economy, with 52 percent saying they trust Trump more and 42 percent Biden.
Although Biden isn’t quite the nominee yet, he is clearly ahead not just in the delegate count but also among Democrats. Fifty-five percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they favor Biden, compared with 39 percent who say they want Sen. Bernie Sanders to win the nomination. That is quite a shift from last month, when Sanders was ahead with 32 percent, compared with Biden’s 17 percent. Even if they support him, though, Democrats aren’t too excited about his candidacy. While 55 percent of registered voters who support Trump say they are very enthusiastic about their support and 32 percent are somewhat enthusiastic, only 24 percent of Biden voters say they are very enthusiastic, while 46 percent are somewhat enthusiastic. Enthusiasm can determine who will actually show up to vote on Election Day.
Support our 2020 coverage
Slate is covering the election issues that matter to you. Support our work with a Slate Plus membership. You’ll also get a suite of great benefits.Join Slate Plus