Too much poll watching this far ahead of an election is of questionable value. And I generally rely on an average of many polls when I do write about them. But I’ll deviate from both those practices to pass along a fresh poll out today because it was done by the New York Times, which has earned an above-average level of credibility in my estimation, and because it shows a very surprising result.
According to the just-published poll, by the Times “Upshot” operation in conjunction with Siena College, Joe Biden leads Donald Trump in the race for president by 14 percentage points.
Fourteen points. That’s a big number. If you want it hedge it, note that 50 percent for Biden to 36 percent for Trump with 14 percent in the “other” category, which includes those who said they would vote for another candidate, or did not know for whom they would vote, or would not vote. The sample also included registered voters, without a screen for “likely voters.”
So there’s that. But that’s a big honking lead, bigger than most polls show. But with all those caveats, it’s a huge Biden lead and it’s the New York Times.
A few details:
Biden leads by 22 points among women, but just three among men.
Trump leads by one point among whites, and by 19 among white without a college degree (the base of his base).
Trump gets support from 85 percent of self-identified Republicans, and Biden gets support from 85 percent of Democrats, but Biden leads Trump by 21 points – that’s a big number – among those who call themselves “independents.”
Of course, Biden crushes Trump among those who consider themselves “liberal,” and Trump crushes Biden among those who describe themselves as “conservatives” (although Biden’s margins among liberals is a fair bit larger than Trump’s among conservatives). But, more impressively, Biden crushes Trump 33 percentage points among those who describe themselves as moderates.
The summary paragraph in the Times write-up of the poll says:
Among a striking cross-section of voters, the distaste for Mr. Trump has deepened as his administration failed to stop a deadly disease that crippled the economy and then as he responded to a wave of racial-justice protests with angry bluster and militaristic threats. The dominant picture that emerges from the poll is of a country ready to reject a president whom a strong majority of voters regard as failing the greatest tests confronting his administration.
It’s just one poll. It doesn’t have a “likely voter” screen. It’s only June. It doesn’t focus on the swing states that will actually decide the election (although if the overall lead is really that big, it might change the swing-state list a bit).
Again, it’s only June. But you wouldn’t want to be Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale when he has to explain the situation to the boss.