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Source: Reuters
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  • Democratic nominee Joe Biden clearly leads U.S. President Donald Trump in a new poll of registered voters from the New York Times and Sienna College
  • Mr Biden has a 50 to 36 per cent lead over President Trump, whose reputation appears to have been damaged by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which has decimated large parts of America
  • Voters also expressed their displeasure at the handling of George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter protests
  • It wasn’t all bad news for Donald Trump though, as he leads the poll 50 to 45 per cent in terms of voter confidence in his handling of the U.S. economy
  • The poll results come less than six months out from the November 2020 election, where the President will be fighting for a second term

A new poll shows Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads U.S. President Donald Trump 50 to 36 per cent, according to the results from the New York Times and Siena College poll of registered voters.

It’s another blow for the President, who faced underwhelming numbers at his first campaign rally held since March, when COVID-19 began hitting America in earnest.

COVID-19 dampens Trump support

The same poll shows President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been labelled poor by some voters.

58 per cent of the voters surveyed disapproved of his handling of COVID-19, which has seen America become ground zero for the virus, with over 2.2 million cases recorded in the country and more than 120,000 deaths.

Interestingly, the same poll revealed the majority of voters surveyed — 55 per cent — believe the Federal Government’s priority should be to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S., even if it hurts the economy.

That’s compared to 34 per cent of voters surveyed, who said the government’s priority should be to restart the economy, even if it increases the risk of more people contracting COVID-19.

Black Lives Matter

Alongside his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the President is also being criticised for his response to George Floyd’s death and the ongoing Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.

62 per cent of voters surveyed said they disapproved of the way Mr Trump is handling the BLM protests, which started after Floyd was allegedly murdered by Minneapolis police one month ago.

Meanwhile, 61 per cent of voters said they disapproved of his handling of race relations in general.

However, some voters believed the BLM protests had become too violent. Poll results show demonstrations are opposed by 38 per cent of voters surveyed, who say too many of the protests have turned to violent rioting.

Speaking on the results, Siena College Research Institute Director, Don Levy, said there was a clear difference of opinion among Democrats and Republicans.

“A majority of Americans, 57 per cent, disagree with the statement, ‘Today, discrimination against whites has become as big of a problem as discrimination against Blacks or other minorities,’ while 39 per cent of all Americans and 60 per cent of Republicans agree,” he said.

“Fifty-six per cent of voters, including 89 per cent of Blacks, say that the criminal justice system is biassed against African Americans and, similarly, 54 per cent of all voters, and 87 per cent of Blacks, say the police are more likely to use deadly force against a Black person,” Don added.

Economic prospects

It wasn’t all bad news for President Trump though, with some encouraging signs noted in the poll.

One of the clear wins for the President is the result showing the majority of voters, 50 to 45 per cent, support his handling of the U.S. economy.

That’s despite the coronavirus-related uncertainty plaguing the market. News from overnight shows fears of a second wave has crushed optimism amongst investors.

November prospects

Overall, the poll can be seen as a win for democratic nominee Joe Biden. Not only does he lead Mr Trump, but the poll also shows the President’s overall approval rating is down, with 56-41 per cent of voters disapproving of the way he is handling the top job.

The poll also shows a clear divide between Democrats and Republicans on a number of key issues, with Independents also leaning left.

“Attitudes towards what George Floyd’s death says about policing, support or opposition to the subsequent demonstrations, and how the federal government should prioritize their response to the coronavirus have all become highly partisan issues,” explained Don.

“At this point, independents are in the middle, but a majority of them side with the Democrats’ view,” he added.

Trump responds

In a believed response to the poll, the President has tweeted about his opponent Joe Biden’s supposed weakness when it comes to international relations.

But, regardless of whether Mr Trump is disheartened by the poll, many may disregard its results altogether, as polls proved to be highly untrustworthy in predicting the final result of the 2016 election.

The 2020 election will take place on November 3, 2020.

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