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Trump Doubles Lead On Biden

Trump Expands Lead Over Biden After Debate in New Poll

Former President Trump has increased his lead over President Biden to 6 points, up from 3 points just a week ago, according to a highly anticipated New York Times/Siena College poll. The poll shows Trump leading Biden with 49% to Biden’s 43% among likely voters, marking Trump’s largest lead in a Times/Siena poll since his first presidential run in 2015. Among registered voters, Trump’s lead extends to 8 points, with 49% to Biden’s 41%.

The results come as Biden’s campaign seeks to regroup after a poor debate performance that raised doubts among Democrats about his ability to defeat Trump and serve another term. Despite the debate being less than a week old, early polling indicates that Trump has either maintained or expanded his lead over Biden. The Times poll reflects a 3-point swing in favor of Trump compared to pre-debate figures.

Biden’s debate performance, marked by stumbling over words, low energy, and unclear statements, did little to alleviate concerns about his fitness for office. The poll revealed an increase in voters worried about his age, with 74% now saying he’s too old to serve as president, up 5 points from before the debate. This includes 59% of Democrats, up 8 points, and 79% of independents.

Despite these concerns, the poll did not show a significant increase in the percentage of Democrats wanting Biden replaced as the nominee. Among Democrats, the desire for a different nominee rose by 2 points to 47%, while support for Biden dropped by 4 points to 48%. Independent voters’ preferences remained largely unchanged, with 72% wanting a different nominee and about 20% supporting Biden.

The White House and Biden’s campaign have been in damage control mode, emphasizing that Biden intends to stay in the race. Campaign Chair Jen O’Malley Dillon argued in a memo that internal battleground polling indicates the contest between Biden and Trump remains “a steady race.” The memo also mentioned the anticipated release of the Times/Siena poll, predicting “a slightly larger swing” in favor of Trump but asserting the race is still close, within the margin of error.

Biden campaign pollster Molly Murphy described the race as “incredibly tight,” acknowledging that while Biden is narrowing Trump’s lead among independents, there is still “work to do” to rally his coalition. Murphy highlighted that Times political analyst Nate Cohn believes the poll results do not represent a “fundamental” shift in the race.

Despite Biden’s efforts, the Times poll data presents challenges for his campaign. In a race that includes third-party and independent candidates, Trump’s lead increased by 2 points to a 5-point margin, with 42% to Biden’s 37%. Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. garnered 8%.

The Times noted that its pre-debate survey was already more favorable to Trump than the national polling average, possibly due to higher responsiveness from Republicans. Other concerns for Biden in the poll include Trump leading among voters aged 18 to 29 by 8 points and among Hispanic voters by 9 points, both key demographics for Democrats. The economy and inflation remain top issues for voters, with Trump holding a comfortable lead among those prioritizing these concerns.

While Biden improved his lead among likely female voters from 5 points to 8 points, Trump significantly increased his lead among likely male voters from 12 points to 23 points. The poll surveyed 1,532 registered voters from June 28 to July 2, with a margin of error of 2.8 points.

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