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