Poll: Biden Expands Lead; A Third Of Country Says It Won't Get Vaccinated The presumptive Democratic nominee now leads President Trump by 11 points. And more people are worried about the coronavirus, but 35% still say they won't get vaccinated when one's available.
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Poll: Biden Expands Lead; A Third Of Country Says It Won't Get Vaccinated

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Poll: Biden Expands Lead; A Third Of Country Says It Won't Get Vaccinated

Poll: Biden Expands Lead; A Third Of Country Says It Won't Get Vaccinated

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NOEL KING, HOST:

Joe Biden's lead over President Trump has grown nationally, including among some groups that'll be crucial this November. That's according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll that's out just this morning. It surveyed around 1,300 American adults. NPR politics editor Domenico Montanaro has been looking at the numbers in that poll. Hey, Domenico.

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: Good morning.

KING: So how much is Biden leading by?

MONTANARO: You know, he's up now by 11 points. He's leading 53-42 over Trump. At the end of June, it was only an eight-point lead - still, fairly sizable. He's doing well with key groups. He's reached a majority now with independents. He leads Trump by 16 points with them. Trump still retains support from his core base groups. But he's seeing his lead dissipate with white voters, which is key for him.

You know, in 2016, Trump won white voters by 20 points. And in this poll, Trump and Biden are tied with them. And really interesting, Biden is leading among voters who dislike both candidates. That's important because in 2016, the polls shifted in the last week of the race, came down to undecided voters who didn't like either candidate. They broke overwhelmingly for Trump. He won them by 30 points.

KING: Wow.

MONTANARO: In this poll, Biden is winning them by 19, so a 49-point swing.

KING: So let's - super interesting. Let's talk about why that might be happening. This poll looked at what Americans think about how President Trump is handling the coronavirus. And what did it find?

MONTANARO: Well, overall, his approval ratings ticked down to 39%. Americans are saying that they're even more worried about coronavirus. Seventy-one percent now see it as a real threat. That's up from 56% in March. And on who voters would like to see handling it, they said they prefer Biden by 16 points. If Trump hopes to be reelected, he's going to really need to improve on this front because a lot of voters are also saying that they don't really trust what they're hearing from the president. Just 31% said that they think they can trust the information coming from the president. So a lot of Americans are, frankly, tuning them out.

KING: Seventy-one percent of Americans, you mentioned, now see the coronavirus as a real threat. That is remarkable. This poll asked people whether they would get a vaccine for COVID-19 if one was available. And what did they say there?

MONTANARO: Well, we saw 60% said that they will get vaccinated. But, you know, a third - more than a third, 35%, say that they won't get vaccinated when one comes available. There are huge splits by education and party on this. Those with college degrees are 19 points more likely to get vaccinated. Democrats are 23 points more likely to get vaccinated than Republicans. And public health experts have been saying that, you know, they need a big number of people to get vaccinated in order for the country to overcome the pandemic.

KING: All right. So we have the election in November. As you look at these poll results, what do they suggest the campaigns need to focus on, need to prioritize here?

MONTANARO: Well, first of all, like we talked about with coronavirus, President Trump really needs to show he has a better command of what's happening with it. And, you know, he doesn't get very good scores on race relations either. He's not doing well in the suburbs. And he needs to be able to show people who might be able to - who might be open to his message that they think that he's, you know, doing better on that and is more in touch on that issue.

You know, for Democrats, it's all about enthusiasm. Trump supporters say they're primarily casting a ballot for him, while Biden's backers are voting against Trump. Now, this poll was taken before Biden picked California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. So we'll see if that can help the enthusiasm for people to vote more affirmatively for the Democratic ticket than just voting against Trump.

KING: Next poll - we'll find out. NPR's Domenico Montanaro. Thanks, Domenico.

MONTANARO: (Laughter) You're welcome.

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