With 2020 race all but halted, Biden quietly widens lead over Trump, Latest World News - The New Paper

With 2020 race all but halted, Biden quietly widens lead over Trump

This article is more than 12 months old

NEW YORK : US Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden has quietly extended his lead over President Donald Trump among registered voters, even as the rapidly spreading coronavirus has all but sidelined the former vice-president's campaign, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.

The poll conducted on Monday and Tuesday of more than 1,100 American adults found that 46 per cent of registered voters said they would support Mr Biden if he were running against Mr Trump in the Nov 3 election, while 40 per cent said they would vote for Mr Trump.

That advantage of 6 percentage points was up from a 1-point lead for Mr Biden recorded in a similar poll that ran from March 6 to 9.

The result suggested that Mr Biden has not been hurt politically from his lack of visibility while the Republican president is at the centre of a government response to a pandemic that has infected more than 184,000 people in the United States and killed more than 3,700 people.

Mr Biden, who does not currently hold office, has been struggling to stay in the public eye as the coronavirus forced millions of Americans inside their homes.

While Trump has held daily televised briefings about the virus, Mr Biden has had to shut down fund-raisers and other campaign events, and election officials in many states have postponed their nominating contests.

Still, the poll found that the number of people who approve of Mr Trump in general, and also those who like the way he has handled the US coronavirus response, had changed very little over the past few weeks.

About 44 per cent said they approved of Trump's overall performance and 48 per cent said they liked the way he had responded to the coronavirus outbreak.

That compared with a 70 per cent approval rating among respondents for their state governors' handling of the pandemic.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States.

It gathered responses from 1,114 adults and had a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 3 percentage points. - REUTERS