Biden, now presumptive nominee, holds edge over Trump in general election polls

With the Democratic primary battle now over and the White House race transitioning to a general election showdown, two new national polls show Joe Biden holding a single-digit advantage over President Trump.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee narrowly leads the Republican incumbent 48-44 percent among registered voters in a Monmouth University Polling Institute survey released on Thursday. And Biden leads Trump 48-41 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

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A third national poll - released Thursday by CNN - indicates a a wider 53-42 percent lead for the former vice president among registered voters.

The new numbers in the general election showdown come as Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – Biden’s last remaining rival in the race for the Democratic nomination – suspended his campaign on Wednesday and acknowledged that the former vice president “will be the nominee.”

Both polls were conducted before Sanders ended his White House bid.

Biden’s slight edge over Trump in the Monmouth University survey is virtually unchanged from late last month, when he topped the president 48-45 percent. Twenty-seven percent of those questioned in the new poll said that the president’s handling of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic makes it more likely he’ll win reelection in November, with 31 percent saying less likely and just over a third saying it will make no difference to his reelection.

The poll also indicates the president’s favorable rating edging down from 46 percent in March to 42 percent now, with his unfavorable rating at 50 percent, nearly unchanged from a couple of weeks ago.

Biden is at 41-42 percent favorable/unfavorable, close to his 43-43 percent standing in late March.

Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray noted that the survey “suggests the president’s response to the pandemic is certainly not helping his reelection prospects.”

The Quinnipiac University survey showed Trump with a slight edge among men and Biden with a double-digit lead among women. The president holds a 5-point advantage among white voters, with Biden up 20 points among Hispanic voters and with an overwhelming lead among African-Americans.

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Biden holds the edge over Trump as more trusted to handle the coronavirus (52-43 percent), health care (57-39 percen) and helping the middle class (57-38 percent) in the CNN poll. But the president topped his Democratic challenger 50-46 percent when it comes to steering the economy.

The CNN poll was conducted by SRRS April 3-6, with 1,002 adults nationwide - including 875 registered voters - questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted April 2-6, with 2,077 self-identified registered voters nationwide questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

The Monmouth University survey was conducted April 3-7, with 857 adults nationwide – including 743 registered voters – questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.