WASHINGTON – President Trump continues to follow Joe Biden in our latest national NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll.
And he also continues to have a 50% problem – where half or more of the country opposes him on key issues.
Fifty-three percent of voters registered in the poll say they side with Biden in the ballot, compared with 42 percent who support Trump. (Biden’s 11-point lead here is less than his 14-point lead in the NBC News / WSJ poll conducted right after the first debate.
The exact same share – 53% – say they have major concerns about Trump dividing the country rather than uniting it. (This was the main concern for both candidates in the survey.)
Fifty-four percent of voters disapprove of Trump’s work, versus 44 percent who approve. (It was 55% disapproval, 43% approval in our previous survey.)
57% disapprove of his handling of the coronavirus. (This is unchanged from the last poll.
And even though this number is slightly less than half, it is still significant: 48% of all voters say there is absolutely no possibility of them supporting Trump. (By comparison, 37 percent of voters say the same about Biden.)
Why is this 50% problem important to Trump?
Because he is the owner in 2020 – not the challenger – and it is difficult for the numbers of a holder to improve in this phase of the elections.
Ask yourself: If you saw a Senate or House in office with these kinds of numbers, how would you view their prospects for re-election?
The staff against the national team
Here are two more sets of numbers in our new survey with 50 percent or more.
One, 50% of voters say they and their family are doing better than four years ago, while 34% say they are worse off.
Two, 58 percent say the country is worse off than four years ago, while 38 percent say it’s better.
That first set of numbers is good news for Trump. But the second set? Not so good.
And voters, as NBC / WSJ co-pollster Jeff Horwitt (D) put it, “seem to vote for the country first.”
The main concerns of the voters
Finally, as previously mentioned, our NBC News / WSJ poll asked for eight different negative statements about presidential candidates – four for Trump, four for Biden.
And here are the main concerns measured by the percentage who say they have the most concerns about the claim:
- Trump will divide the country instead of uniting it: 53 percent
- Trump doesn’t have the temperament to serve as commander-in-chief: 49 percent
- Trump will harm Americans’ health by not going far enough in his coronavirus response: 46 percent
- Biden would allow the Democratic Party to pursue very liberal policies: 41 percent
- Trump doesn’t have the physical or mental health to be president – 41 percent
- Biden hasn’t achieved much in his 47 years in Washington: 39 percent
- Biden doesn’t have the physical or mental health to be president: 38 percent
- Biden will harm the country by going too far in response to the coronavirus: 34 percent.
Data download: the numbers you need to know today
7,957,894: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 56,921 more than yesterday morning.)
218,016: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 930 more than yesterday morning.)
118.37 million: The number of coronavirus tests that have been administered so far in the United States, according to researchers from The COVID Tracking Project.
More than 25 percent: The rise in coronavirus cases in the past two weeks in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin
8 million: The number of Americans who may have slipped into poverty since May.
67 million: The number of people in France, where a curfew has been imposed on nearly a third of the population to fight a recovering coronavirus.
53 percent: The share of Americans in our new NBC / WSJ poll that says it is a “big concern” for them that Trump divides the country rather than unites it.
About 15 million: The number of Americans who have already voted.
Tweet of the day
Vision 2020: Biden’s big gains
Joe Biden tweeted last night his campaign and party accounts raised a whopping $ 383 million in September – that would mean they raised more than their last record number of fundraisers in August, when the campaign brought in $ 365 million.
That loot of cash is having a real effect on TV ad space. As we reported earlier this month, the Biden campaign spent $ 153 million on TV and radio ads, while the Trump campaign only spent $ 57 million in September. And here’s how it’s unfolding now in some of NBC’s battlefield states:
Since Labor Day, Biden has spent more than Trump on radio and television advertising in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, according to data from Advertising Analytics.
The only battleground where Trump still has the advertising edge is Georgia.
On the countryside trail today
It’s a town hall duel for Trump and Biden: Trump holds a town hall with NBC News at 8pm. ET from Miami, while Biden has a city hall at the same time with ABC News in Philadelphia. Before City Halls, Trump holds a rally in Greenville, N.C. Mike Pence is in Miami and Kamala Harris’ campaigns in Asheville, N.C.
Ad Watch by Ben Kamisar
Today’s Ad Watch heads to Michigan, where a close run in the Senate gives Republicans one of the few chances to go on the offensive this cycle (a recent poll found John James is practically tied to Democratic Senator Gary Peters).
James’s new commercial begins with a chart of the year 2020 catching fire, with the candidate delivering a recognizable message: “2020 was a tough year. No, actually, it was pretty awful.”
But as the challenger tries to get voters to quit Peters, James continues to try to attribute the “terrible” year to Peters.
“If you like how things are going in Washington, stay with Senator Peters. He’s been doing the same political thing for 30 years, I guarantee you it won’t change. I believe we can do better, “he says.
It’s a strategy James has implemented in other advertisements: He blames Peters for failing to handle the pandemic earlier (a Democrat charge and the Detroit Free Press fact-checking unit disputed).
The question is, can James use that message to help him reach the finish line even if voters give President Trump, James’s party leader, poor marks on the coronavirus response?
ICYMI: What else is happening in the world
Fears of political violence grow if the president loses in November.
Trump says he is “not happy” with Bill Barr and will not pledge to keep him as AG for a second term.
Steve Mnuchin says a new coronavirus relief deal isn’t likely before the election.
With the spread of the virus, Wall Street may have had a leap in the news, reports The New York Times.
Republicans expect smooth sailing for Amy Coney Barrett.
Here’s the latest news (and lack thereof) on a Hunter Biden story promoted by Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon.
Famous Alabama football manager Nick Saban tested positive for coronavirus.