A new national poll shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden retaining a single-digit lead over President Trump – but the public opinion survey also indicates that slightly more voters think Trump will win the presidential election.
The Monmouth University survey released on Thursday also suggests that a majority of voters believes there are so-called secret Trump voters in their communities who keep their preference to themselves.
According to the poll, which was conducted Sept. 3-8, the former vice president and Democratic challenger tops Trump 51%-44% among likely voters and holds a slightly wider 51%-42% lead over the president among the wide pool of registered voters.
Libertarian Party nominee Jo Jergensen and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins are each at 2% among registered voters and 1% among likely voters.
An average of all the latest national polls in the White House race that was compiled by Real Clear Politics indicates Biden ahead of the president by 7.5 points.
The Real Clear Politics average of national polling on this date four years ago showed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ahead of Trump by 2.7 points. Clinton led Trump by 3.2 points on the eve of the general election – and ended up winning the national popular vote by 2%. But Trump narrowly topped Clinton in many of the key battleground states, which helped him trounce her in the all-important Electoral College count to win the White House.
The new Monmouth poll indicates that about 6 in 10 voters are confident that the November election will be conducted fairly and accurately, but 37% don’t have confidence in how the election will be conducted. The survey indicates that more Biden supporters than Trump backers are confident of the election’s fairness and accuracy.
Another finding in the poll: by a 48%-43% margin, slightly more voters think Trump rather than Biden will win the presidential election.
“Of course, most voters believed that Clinton was going to win four years ago and they accepted the different outcome. But the reasons why voters think Trump will win again suggest that some may not accept this year’s result if he loses,” Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said in a statement.
Fifty-five percent of those questioned in the survey said they think there are voters in their community who are secretly backing Trump. Only 3 in 10 think that there are secret Biden backers in their community.
“Look, we are not asking this question as some backdoor way to tap into a secret Trump vote that the polls are missing. We have plenty of evidence that there was no measurable secret vote in 2016 or this year either. However, voters’ belief that a secret Trump vote does exist is a very real phenomenon we need to acknowledge. If this expected vote does not materialize on Election Day, some Democrats will be pleasantly surprised and some Republicans will be shocked,” Murray said.
The Monmouth University poll used live telephone operators to question 758 registered voters nationwide. The survey’s overall sampling error is 3.6 percentage points.