Former Vice President Joe Biden was well ahead of President Donald Trump in the Fox News national poll just last week, even though Biden had all but disappeared from the airwaves amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This week, though, things have changed significantly. Biden’s lead has disappeared, Fox News reports Monday, and the pair are now tied in the outlet’s 2020 presidential tracking poll.
“According to a new Fox News Poll of registered voters, the incumbent president and presumed Democratic nominee now tie with 42 percent support apiece,” Fox says. “Some 16 percent would vote for a third-party candidate or are undecided. Trump’s 42 percent support is, by a narrow margin, his highest ever against Biden, while Biden’s mark is his lowest by far.”
The change is signifiant — a nearly ten-point shift from an identical poll taken last week — and comes just as some news outlets are reporting that Trump’s approval rating, which shot up to record highs in the first weeks of the national coronavirus response, has begun to decline back to more natural numbers.
Experts had predicted a fall for the president, particularly as coronavirus-related lockdowns wear on and the toll to the economy worsens, but few predicted that the same issues might have a similar effect on the Democrats’ presumptive 2020 presidential nominee.
It turns out, Fox News finds, Democrats are losing faith in their presidential candidate.
“Two weeks ago, Biden was up by 49-40 percent (March 21-24),” Fox reports. “Some of the most significant declines in his support come from women (-9 points) and non-whites (-11). Yet, the most troublesome shift is among Democrats, as just 80 percent back him, down from 87 percent in March.”
Experts who spoke to Fox say that Biden is suffering from his inability to command headlines and hold rallies. The presidential campaigns have moved largely online and, although Biden is now the only Democratic candidate left in the field, he hasn’t been able to capitalize off the change. It’s also been difficult for Biden to gain traction on cable news networks; his few appearances have been rife with issues — mostly of the candidate’s own making — and his attempts to hold “shadow” coronavirus briefings and competing question-and-answer sessions have fallen flat.
It probably doesn’t help that Biden still looks weak against other Democrats in the wider field.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dropped out only last week and refused to endorse Biden for president, saying, instead, that he’ll remain on the ballot in order to collect delegates and influence the Democratic party platform. The Democratic Socialists of America have refused to endorse Biden, as well, alluding to the idea that the party nomination was “fixed” to avoid a socialist nominee.
Even regular Democrats are unconvinced. A poll taken last week showed support for replacing Biden with New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who is leading New York through the nation’s most significant coronavirus outbreak. Former president Barack Obama, who was expected to come out in support for his former Veep once the nomination was all but squared away has also been silent — a sore spot President Trump tried to take advantage of last week in comments made to the press.