Politics

Biden makes major gains with crucial voting group ahead of 1st debate with Trump: poll

President Biden has significantly improved his standing with independent voters, a group crucial to winning in key battleground states this November, a new NPR/PBS News/Marist poll has found less than 10 days from the first presidential debate.

Biden overcame a 12-percentage point deficit among independents and now leads Trump 50%-48% with the group compared to a previous NPR/PBS News/ Marist poll taken in May.

Trump, however, maintains a slight one percentage point lead (50%-49%) in a head-to-head matchup among voters who say they definitely plan to vote in the November general election, but the two are tied 49%-49% among overall registered voters, including those who say they are undecided but are leaning toward a candidate.

Trump’s overall lead over Biden stays at one percentage point (42%-41%) with the inclusion of independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (11%) and Dr. Cornel West (3%), as well as Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein (1%) and Libertarian Party candidate Chase Oliver (1%).

White voters favor Trump 55%-43%, while non-White voters favor Biden 58%-40%. The two are tied at 50% each with voters under the age of 45, but Trump holds a slight advantage (49%-48%) with voters over the age of 45.

Voters believe Trump would better handle the economy (54%-45%), immigration (54%-44%) and the U.S. role on the world stage (50%-49%). They believe Biden would better handle preserving democracy (52%-46%) and abortion (54%-42%). They also believe he cares more about the average person (50%-46%).

Inflation is viewed as the top issue by a plurality (30%) of voters, followed by democracy (29%), immigration (18%), healthcare (8%), abortion (8%) and crime (6%). 

A majority of 55% say they are not satisfied with either Trump or Biden as the candidates in the race, but more Biden voters (58%) than Trump voters (49%) specifically say they are not satisfied.

Biden’s favorability stands at 41% with 53% viewing him unfavorably. His approval rating matches.

Trump similarly holds underwater favorability ratings, with just 42% viewing him favorably and 53% unfavorably. Concerning his conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records last month, 51% believe he should definitely or probably serve jail time, but 47% say he should definitely or probably not serve jail time.

Trump and Biden will meet on an Atlanta stage for the first time in years on June 27 in a debate hosted by CNN.

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