An Emerson College Poll conducted the last two days of August found that President Trump has narrowed the gap with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to a near-tie, with Biden garnering 49% of respondents’ votes and Trump getting 47%.
That margin has closed since the July national poll, when Biden led 50% to 46%. Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson College Polling, stated that “the Republican convention gave Trump his most positive week of news coverage which likely attributes to his bounce in this month’s poll and increasing job approval.”
Trump has been steadily gaining ground for weeks; the Hill-HarrisX poll surveying respondents between August 2-5 found Biden garnering 47% of the national vote versus 43% for Trump, a lead of four percentage points. The previous Hill-HarrisX poll, conducted between July 17-20, found Biden farther ahead with a seven-point lead, with 45% of the vote while Trump got 38%.
At the beginning of June in the Hill-Harris poll, Biden led Trump by 10 points; 47% of respondents chose Biden while 37% chose Trump. At the time, Terrance Woodbury, Democratic pollster and founding partner at Hit Strategies, pointed out to Hill.TV that numbers showed 24% of black voters approving of Trump. He stated, “I’ll tell you right now, if he can get half of those 24 percent of people to vote for him, then he is reelected.”
CNN reported in late July:
If the race for president tightens, Trump’s small gain with Black voters could make a difference. It could cost Biden 0.5 points nationally on the whole compared to where Clinton ended up. That may not seem like a lot, though it could make the difference in a close election. And, of course, Biden’s margin with Black voters may tighten further if the margin with other voters also shifts. Historically, Trump is doing as well and probably even a touch better than Republicans normally do among Black voters.
The Emerson poll found Trump approaching a majority for the first time, with 49% approval; in July Trump had 45% approval.
“Voters planning to vote early in person are breaking for Trump 50% to 49% while those who plan to vote in person on election break for the President 57% to 37%. Voters who said they plan to vote by mail break for Biden 67% to 28%,” Emerson explained.
In the Emerson poll, men preferred Trump 50% to 45%; women preferred Biden, 52% to 44%. Independents preferred Biden, 50% to 42%.
Trump’s support among members of his own party was stronger than Biden’s; among Republicans Trump led Biden 83% to 14% while among Democrats Biden led Trump 79% to 18%.
Trump is doing well among new voters, leading Biden 51% to 44%. Trump got an impressive 19% of votes from the black community, and a whopping 37% of votes from the Hispanic community; he also had a substantial lead over Biden with voters aged 30-49, 53% to 41%, and voters aged 50-64, 51%-47%.
The Emerson College Poll noted, “The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, party affiliation, race and region based on 2016 voter turnout modeling.”
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