The Slatest

New WSJ/NBC News Poll Puts Biden Lead Over Trump at 11 Points

Joe Biden pumps his fist while standing in front of an American flag during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania.
Biden during a campaign stop outside Johnstown Train Station September 30, 2020 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Alex Wong/Getty Images

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll out Thursday shows Joe Biden maintaining a double-digit lead in national polling. The survey of registered voters was taken over the weekend, October 9-12, and detected a slight dip in Biden’s previous 14-point lead calculated by the same polling outfit last time out. Biden was still able to command a significant advantage, 53 percent to President Donald Trump’s 42 percent. A lot has happened over the past several weeks, and the poll manages to encompass much of the tumult—ranging from the first presidential debate (September 29) to a Supreme Court nomination and, of course, Trump’s positive Covid-19 test, subsequent bonkers hospitalization, and even more berserk whatever it is you’d call what he’s been doing since. With less than three weeks until Election Day, are Americans’ opinions about the candidates hardening? It would certainly appear so. The survey also showed an eight-point advantage for Democrats in down ballot Congressional races.

That’s obviously good news for Joe Biden and Democrats, who are embarking upon the scare-the-bejesus out of supporters phase of the campaign in order to avoid a sense complacency and overconfidence. It’s hard to imagine a single Democrat having either one of those emotions, but part of campaigning from the front is keeping your support on edge. As such, Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon took to Twitter to remind Democrats not to believe the hype. The party also turned to its big guns. “It’s going to be close,” President Barack Obama stressed in a digital video aimed at activating early voters. “It could come down to a handful of voters just like you. So I’m asking you to bring this thing home. Leave no doubt. Vote early.”

Want some other deep cut poll trends to keep you up at night? Well, here you go courtesy of the Wall Street Journal’s writeup of the poll:

In addition to the edge on the economy, there were some other positive signals for Mr. Trump. By 12 percentage points, voters view the Republican Party as better suited to handle crime. Voters split nearly evenly on whether they want a president who would confront and challenge the establishment—a hallmark of Mr. Trump’s style—or someone who would bring competence and compassion.

Pollsters said Mr. Trump’s 88% support among Republicans—compared with Mr. Biden’s 96% support among Democrats—suggested that the president had room to grow his support in the final weeks before the election. Because the election is based on the electoral map and not the popular vote, the president needs to see gains in only a handful of states.

Then, of course, there’s the last ditch GOP strategy of disqualifying as many offending votes as possible. Have you learned nothing? You shouldn’t be sleeping in the first place!