US Politics: Trump under pressure as Biden shows large lead in polls

Joe Biden has leapt ahead in the polls
Donald Trump is falling behind to election hopeful Joe Biden
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Joe Biden holds a 14-point lead over Donald Trump in the race to win the 2020 US election. Tradefair brings you the latest from US Politics...

"This has been a weak month for Trump and the Republicans,"

- Mark Penn, polling director for the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll

Donald Trump continues to face mounting pressure in his fight for re-election in 2020, as new polls have shown a significant shift in public opinion in favour of his Democrat opponent Joe Biden.

With just over four months until the next election in the US, new figures show Biden to be leading Trump by 14 points in the race for the White House.

A shift in public opinion

The nationwide New York Times/Siena College poll was published this week and has revealed a considerable erosion in public opinion for the president, with Biden leading Trump by 50% to 36%.

This 14-point gap is the largest lead seen by Biden this year.

Perhaps more importantly, the poll places Biden ahead in several key swing states - Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These states proved crucial to Trump winning in 2016 and a shift from Republican to Democrat in 2020 could be decisive in the race to become the next US president.

Other interesting statistics highlighted by the research include the fact that several key demographics are showing a preference for Biden at present. Indeed, there is a 22-point lead for Biden among American women, while the Democrat is either tied or ahead in all segments when demographics are broken down by age groups or ethnicity.

Unsurprisingly, the only demographics currently showing a lead for Trump are that of registered Republicans and white non-college educated voters. In all other areas, the president is behind.

Mark Penn, polling director for the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey, stated: "This has been a weak month for Trump and the Republicans.

"Biden's favourable remains under 50% but he shows real strength in this month's horse race and the Democrats stayed steady as the Republicans tumbled."

What's changed?

Perhaps the biggest hit to the president's popularity in recent weeks has been his response in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder and the growing Black Lives Matter movement that has swept both the US and the globe.

Scenes of protesters being dispersed with the use of police and National Guard forces to attend a photo op at St John's Church on June 1 left a bad taste among many voters, while his combative tweets against governors concerned by a lifting of lockdown measures has also done little to improve public opinion.

It's a trend that many now see as the president being out of touch with the issues that matter most to the American people - most notably the growing sense that endemic issues of racial equality are not being taken seriously by the president and the perception that public health priorities are taking a backseat to economic recovery.

Despite moves to reopen many parts of the country, the US economy continues to face major disruption in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and warnings of a new surge in infections are creating further uncertainty for markets at present.

Looking ahead to the election

Key to the president's re-election hopes has and continues to be the strength of the US economy; however, with markets reacting negatively at present, it remains to be seen how favourable the president's economic performance will be come the date of the election.

Indeed, with a surge in coronavirus cases seen in recent days, Charles Evans, head of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, told the FT that he now expects the US economy to take years to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels.

"My forecast assumes growth is held back by the response to intermittent localised outbreaks, which might be made worse by the faster-than-expected reopenings," he said.

The president will be hoping that is not the case and a swift recovery can be seen, but with only a few months left until decision day, Trump may be running out of time - and voters running out of patience.

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