The latest IBD/TIPP Trump vs. Biden poll finds President Donald Trump inching closer to former Vice President Joe Biden. The race appears competitive, with Biden's lead among independent voters slipping, as last night's debate sets the stage for the the final kick, IBD/TIPP's presidential poll update shows.
The latest 2020 election poll update shows the Democratic challenger leading the Republican incumbent by 4.6 points, 49.8%-45.2%, in a four-way presidential poll of likely voters. Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen has the support of 2.2%, and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins 0.8%.
2020 Presidential Poll Trend: Four-Way Race
Since the IBD/TIPP 2020 Presidential Election Tracking Poll launched Oct. 12, Biden's support has slipped 2.1 points, from 51.9%. Trump poll numbers have climbed 1.8 points since starting at 43.4%.
Biden's lead peaked at 8.6 points in IBD/TIPP's Oct. 13 presidential poll. The race's tightest point came on Tuesday, Oct. 20, when Biden led by 2.3 points.
For more details, check out the IBD/TIPP 2020 Election Poll page.
Head-To-Head Trump Vs Biden Poll
In a head-to-head Trump vs. Biden poll, the Democratic nominee leads by 3.9 points, 49.8%-45.9%.
Biden's support has slipped 2.9 points since Oct. 12 in the one-on-one matchup, while Trump's support is up 3.6 points.
Biden's head-to-head lead had narrowed to just 1.8 points on Wednesday, his smallest lead to date. Biden has led by as much as 10.4 points, in the Oct. 12 presidential poll.
2020 Presidential Poll: Party Breakdown
Joe Biden's lead among likely independent voters thinned to just 2 points, 45.5% to 43.5%, in IBD/TIPP's latest 2020 presidential poll update. Previously, the Democratic nominee's lead among this swing group had ranged from 4 points into double digits.
Meanwhile, Biden leads 92%-6% among Democrats, while Trump leads 91%-6% among Republicans.
2016 Voters In 2020 Election
The latest Trump vs. Biden poll shows that the president's trouble with wayward 2016 Trump voters hasn't gone away. Among people who voted for Trump in 2016, 7% say they now support Biden while 90% say they've decided to back Trump again. Biden does better among Hillary Clinton voters: Just 3.5% say they support Trump, while 93% back the former vice president.
In addition to faring better among 2016 Trump and Clinton voters, Biden gets more support than Trump among 2016 third-party voters (51%-22%) and nonvoters (59%-34%).
Trump Vs Biden Poll: Which Issues Loom Large?
Recent presidential elections have been fought mainly over which candidate's economic policies are better. This year features a broader issue landscape, with a once-in-a-century pandemic, nationwide protests against racial injustice and a Supreme Court nomination that promises a major ideological shift.
The latest IBD/TIPP presidential poll finds that the single most-important issue for voters is the economy (named by 34% of likely voters), followed by the coronavirus response (20%), health care (13%), law and order (11%), race relations (7%) and the Supreme Court (6%).
There's a clear divide between Biden and Trump voters over which set of issues matter most, notes TIPP President Raghavan Mayur.
Going into the final debate, voters selecting the economy as the top issue back Trump, 74%-23%. Trump also leads among voters most concerned about law and order (81%-17%) and the Supreme Court (63%-35%).
Biden leads among voters most concerned about the coronavirus response (86%-13%), health care (83%-16%) and race relations (89%-8%).
"The number of voters who think Trump issues (economy, law and order, and Supreme Court) are important exceeds those who think Biden issues are important (COVID, health care, and race relations)," Mayur said.
Trump issues are the No. 1 issue for 51% of voters, while Biden issues are the top concern of 40% of voters.
2020 Election Poll: Shades Of 2016?
In 2016, almost all presidential polls pointed to a Hillary Clinton victory over Donald Trump. The IBD/TIPP Poll was one of only two election polls credited with predicting President Trump's 2016 surprise showing. TIPP, IBD's polling partner, succeeded in picking up on the greater enthusiasm among Republicans for their candidate. Likewise, the IBD/TIPP Poll correctly predicted that President Obama would outperform expectations in 2012.
IBD/TIPP's latest Trump vs. Biden poll margin of +4.6 points for the Democrat again makes it something of an outlier. The RealClearPolitics average of 2020 presidential polls shows that Biden's lead has grown from 6.6 points before the first debate and Trump's coronavirus case to 7.9 points currently, though the more recent trend has been down.
The latest IBD/TIPP Trump vs. Biden poll has some similarities with the Trump vs. Clinton race. Republicans again seem more excited about their candidate. But there are important differences at this point in the race. Biden leads by 2 points among independents in the IBD/TIPP 2020 election poll. Trump carried independents 43%-42% in 2016, according to a postelection Pew Research survey of verified voters.
Seniors and suburban voters helped lift Trump to victory in 2016. Yet the latest IBD/TIPP Trump vs. Biden poll shows the Democrat winning both groups.
It remains to be seen whether Thursday's final debate will reshape the race in its final 11 days. The economy was hotly debated, with strong disagreements over the minimum wage and the future of fossil fuels. The coronavirus resurgence as well as progress toward a medical breakthrough, the Supreme Court nomination fight and the fate of fiscal stimulus negotiations also will be front and center.
The new IBD/TIPP presidential poll, taken over five days, shows that 30% of voters have already cast ballots, including 43% of Biden voters. That means there are fewer votes still in play than in a normal election. However, the unprecedented level of mail-in voting, which brings the potential for disqualified ballots, is a wild card.
Trump's Electoral College victory in 2016 came despite losing the popular vote by 2.1%. If state polls are correct, Biden may be cutting into Trump's 2016 advantage in red states like Texas and Ohio. That could make the popular vote even less of a predictor than it was in 2016.
Trump Vs Biden Poll: Suburbs Back Challenger
Urban voters prefer Biden by a 23-point margin, the IBD/TIPP 2020 election poll update finds. Rural voters back Trump by an 18-point margin, somewhat narrower than in 2016.
Yet the suburbs may be the big difference this year. The IBD/TIPP presidential poll shows suburban voters back Biden vs. Trump, 52% to 42%. By comparison, exit polls from 2016 show Trump won the suburbs, 50%-45%.
That explains why Trump made a blunt appeal to suburban voters — particularly suburban women — while campaigning in Pennsylvania last week. "Suburban women, will you please like me? Please. Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?"
Trump was referring to a fair-housing regulation adopted by President Obama's administration and later rolled back by Trump. The rule altered criteria for awarding federal funds to overcome historic patterns of segregation.
Seniors Are Key Swing Group In 2020 Presidential Poll
Senior citizens are another key group Trump carried in 2016 that have swung toward Biden. Seniors back the former vice president, 50%-45%, in IBD/TIPP's latest Trump vs. Biden poll. Trump won among senior citizens in 2016, 53%-44%, Pew says.
Meanwhile, Biden is leading Trump among voters age 18-44, 51%-42.5%, in the IBD/TIPP presidential poll update. The two candidates are tied among voters 45-64.
President Trump is trying to shore up support among seniors, who are far more susceptible to the coronavirus and who have been critical of his handling of the pandemic. After his release from the hospital, Trump pledged that he would provide free access to the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) antibody drug that he credits with restoring him to full health. The Trump administration also is getting ready to send out drug cards worth $200 to tens of millions of seniors.
More 2020 Election Poll Demographics
The IBD/TIPP 2020 election poll shows Trump winning among men, 51%-45%, more narrowly than his 11-point advantage in 2016.
Women favor the Democrat by 54%-40% in the latest Trump vs. Biden poll update, a hair narrower than Trump's 15-point deficit among women in 2016.
White voters favor Trump by 11 points, 53%-42%, but they backed him by a 15-point margin in 2016, the IBD/TIPP 2020 presidential poll update finds.
Black voters back Biden, 89.5%-8%, in today's presidential poll update, but supported Clinton by an even wider 85-point margin in 2016. Meanwhile, Trump trails Biden among Hispanics, 32%-63% in the latest IBD/TIPP 2020 election poll. In 2016, Trump lost among Hispanic voters, 28%-66%.
More data on the income, religion and education of voters in the Trump vs. Biden poll can be found at the main IBD/TIPP tracking poll page.
Trump Vs Biden Poll: Investors Lean To Democrat
So far, Wall Street seems to be ignoring Trump's warning that stocks would face a reckoning under Biden. Trump tweeted last week, "Remember, Stock Market at an All Time High, and going up. 401k's at RECORD. With Sleepy Joe comes Tax Increases, jobs losses and DEPRESSION like never seen before!!! VOTE!!!"
Self-described investors, with at least $10,000 in household-owned stocks or mutual funds, favor Biden, 50%-45%. The final 2016 IBD/TIPP presidential poll showed Trump winning the group, 48%-42%.
Among noninvestors, Biden leads by a 51%-44.5% margin.
Biden is winning among voters with income below $30,000, 54%-41.5%. However, Trump has a 4-point advantage among voters with incomes of $30,000-$50,000 in the latest IBD/TIPP 2020 election poll.
Regardless of their own voting preferences, investors seem to be warming to a Biden presidency and potential Democratic sweep. That would likely mean higher corporate taxes and higher taxes on investment gains. Yet this month's stock market rally has come as a Biden victory had looked likely. Wall Street may be more hopeful that an extended court fight over the election's outcome may be avoided. The 2000 recount coincided with a stock market pullback of nearly 10%, though that was during the 2000-2002 bear market. Investors also are assuming that a Democratic boost in federal spending will offset any near-term downside from tax hikes and more regulation.
Trump Vs Biden Poll: Whose Voters Are More Committed?
How secure is Joe Biden's advantage over Donald Trump? A number of questions in the IBD/TIPP Trump vs. Biden poll try to tease that out.
President Trump has a clear advantage when it comes to voters' intensity of support. Among those who intend to vote for Trump, 75% back him strongly, vs. 66% among intended Biden voters.
The IBD/TIPP presidential poll finds that 10% of likely voters say they're at least somewhat likely to change their mind before Election Day. That group includes 11% of Trump supporters and 8% of Biden backers. However, an equal 7% of their supporters say they're very likely to reconsider their choice.
Meanwhile, 40% of voters expect Biden to win and 38% think Trump will prevail. Yet 48% think most of their neighbors will vote for Trump, and just 35% think their neighbors will mostly back Biden. The big difference comes from rural areas, where 71% say their neighbors back Trump.
IBD/TIPP 2020 Election Poll Details
The daily update of the IBD/TIPP 2020 election poll reflects a survey of 1,135 registered and 972 likely voters, from Oct. 18 through Oct. 22. The weighted party split of likely voters includes 367 Democrats, 327 Republicans and 276 independents.
The Trump vs. Biden poll likely voter sample has a credibility interval of +/- 3.2 percentage points. IBD's polling partner TechnoMetrica applies a multimodal approach using "traditional" telephone methodology, with live interviewers supplemented by online surveys. Each day approximately 200 interviews with registered voters are conducted, of which 125 are from telephone and 75 from online. In the telephone sample, roughly 65% of interviews come from a cellphone sample and 35% from a landline sample.
Please follow Jed Graham on Twitter @IBD_JGraham for coverage of economic policy and financial markets.