Biden edges out Trump in new national Monmouth poll

Per Monmouth, Joe Biden holds a negligible 3 point lead over Donald Trump in the race for president, according to a national Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll.

The probable Democratic nominee has a larger edge, though, among voters in key swing counties across the country. The poll also finds that fewer voters say their financial situation is improving compared to a year ago, although most say it is stable for now.

Biden has the support of 48% of registered voters and Trump has the support of 45% if the presidential election was today. Another 3% say they would vote for an independent candidate and 4% are undecided. Biden has an 89% to 6% advantage over Trump among Democratic voters, while Trump has a similar 90% to 7% lead among Republicans. Independents split 45% for Trump and 44% for Biden.

“The race looks tight right now between Trump and the probable Democratic nominee. But as we learned in 2016, the outcome will be determined by the Electoral College rather than the national popular vote. The poll results suggest Biden may actually be starting out with an advantage in crucial swing areas of the country,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

NBC reports the picture changed slightly when the poll shifted to key state voters. According to the poll, 50 percent of voters in 300 “swing counties” — counties in which less than 10 points separated Trump and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — back Biden while just 41 percent support the president.

Trump and the leading Democratic candidate essentially split the current vote for Independents — Trump edges out with 45 percent, and Biden garners 44 percent.

While the possible general election contest is extremely close, some key questions could end up affecting whether voters change their allegiances. Twenty-five percent of registered voters said their current financial situation was best described as “struggling”, and just 12 percent of registered voters said their financial status was improving. That could magnify as the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has some experts saying unemployment could reach 20 percent in a worse-case scenario situation.

However, it’s not clear that Americans blame the Trump administration for their financial situations. Fifty-two percent of registered voters said the federal government had “no real impact” on their finances, and 29 percent said the government “helped” their financial situation. The Monmouth University poll was conducted between March 18 and March 22.

Both candidates have also seen upticks in their favorability since February. Forty-six of registered voters view President Trump either very or somewhat favorably, up two points since February, and 43 percent of registered voters view Biden very or somewhat favorably, up three points from the last poll.