It is certainly not post time, but as the presidential candidates near the starting gate, the widespread narrative that Joe Biden is way out in front of President Donald Trump finally has some honest to goodness data to contrast that perception. It comes from one of the few polling outfits that got it right last time – Rasmussen.
White House Watch is a weekly survey conducted by Rasmussen that began only three weeks ago. It’s one of the few polls worth watching because of the methodology of the study – more on that later. First, let’s get to the results: In week one, Biden trounced Trump by ten points. In the second week, that lead winnowed down to three, and now Biden only holds a two-point lead on the president.
Here’s how the numbers pan out:
- Biden – 47%
- Trump – 45%
- Other – 5%
- Undecided 4%
The reason Rasmussen’s White House Watch is worth our attention lies in the simplicity and thorough method by which it is conducted. Democrats like to belittle the folks at Rasmussen, but this appears to be without any factual basis. The question they asked was direct: “If the presidential race in 2020 was between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, who would you vote for?” Unlike other polls, the query does not lead the respondent, nor does it endeavor to coax a preferred outcome.
The crosstabs demonstrate a desire to take the pulse of the people rather than to fulfill a narrative. Twenty-five hundred likely voters were surveyed between July 15 – 16 and 19 – 21. Of these, 33% self-identified as Republican and 37% as Democrat. Another 30% responded “other” regarding party affiliation.
In terms of racial make-up, 69% were white, 12% black, and 18% listed as “other.” This closely mirrors the U.S. population. Rasmussen clearly makes an effort to reflect the racial composition of the electorate, and they take the same care with gender. The White House Watch surveyed 47% men and 53% women. In 2016 73.7 million women voted to 63.8 million men. Going back as far as 1996, women have outnumbered men at the polls.
Bottom line – this is a survey that should be closely watched and taken seriously.
But Wait, There’s More
One other small piece of thought-provoking news comes from – of all place – CNN. A CNN poll (which is done by an entirely different method) shows that Joe Biden “doesn’t seem to be as well liked as Clinton.” To make matters worse for the former vice president, “Historically, Trump is doing as well and probably even a touch better than Republicans normally do among Black voters,” according to a CNN analysis published on July 21, 2020. “Trump, if anything, is slightly more popular than he was among Black voters. His net favorability among Black voters is at -76 points, better than the -81 points he had at the end of the 2016 campaign,” wrote CNN’s Harry Enten.
These recent numbers from both Rasmussen and CNN demonstrate that we’ve got a real race dead ahead. The spring polls left many in Trump’s base just this side of panic if not more than a little depressed. But for now, at least, the president’s basket of deplorables can put the PROCAZ back in the medicine cabinet.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.