Vancouver Sun

U.S. pres­i­dent fails to gain `sym­pa­thy bounce'

- DAVID MILL­WARD US Elections · U.S. News · US Politics · Politics · Elections · United States of America · Joe Biden · Joe · Donald Trump · Walter Reed · Reed · NBC · Hillary Clinton · Republican Party (United States)

With 30 days to go un­til the U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Demo­cratic can­di­date Joe Bi­den is pulling away from Don­ald Trump, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est opinion polls re­leased Sun­day.

The sur­veys, one taken fol­low­ing last week's chaotic pres­i­den­tial de­bate and the other af­ter Trump tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19, will make grim read­ing for the U.S. pres­i­dent as he un­der­goes treat­ment at the Wal­ter Reed Na­tional Mil­i­tary Med­i­cal Cen­tre.

A post-de­bate poll con­ducted by NBC News and The Wall Street Jour­nal put Bi­den 14 points ahead of the pres­i­dent, the big­gest gap the sur­vey has recorded this year. Should the find­ings prove ac­cu­rate Bi­den could be head­ing for a land­slide vic­tory.

How­ever, four years ago an NBC/Wall Street Jour­nal poll taken just over three weeks ahead of the elec­tion also gave Hil­lary Clin­ton a 14-point lead.

A sec­ond sur­vey, taken af­ter it was an­nounced that Trump had tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19, showed lit­tle sign of a “sym­pa­thy bounce.” Ac­cord­ing to a Reuters-Ip­sos poll, which saw Bi­den's lead widen to 10 points, 65 per cent of vot­ers be­lieved that Trump could have avoided be­ing in­fected if he had taken the coro­n­avirus pan­demic more se­ri­ously. That view was held by 50 per cent of Repub­li­cans.

The NBC News/ Wall Street Jour­nal poll was con­ducted on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day last week as vot­ers di­gested the fall­out from the pres­i­den­tial de­bate.

Repub­li­can poll­ster Bill McIn­turff be­lieved the surge in Bi­den's sup­port rep­re­sented what he de­scribed as a “shock to the sys­tem” fol­low­ing the an­ar­chic events of Tues­day night.

He sug­gested that Bi­den's lead would prob­a­bly drop back to be­tween eight and nine points by elec­tion day.

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