2020 Vision Polling Tuesday #2: Trump Tightens the Race


Nicole Markus and Bella Martin

Welcome to polling Tuesday, a weekly update from the 2020 Vision Election Blog. The election is exactly two weeks away, and the polls that indicate which presidential candidate is ahead change daily. Here, we’ll take a look at the polls and what they mean every Tuesday before the election.

Let’s Recap

Last week, on Monday, Oct. 12, former Vice President Joe Biden held the lead in all of the national polls. He polled at about 51% while incumbent President Donald Trump polled at around 42%. These numbers gave Biden the lead in the race for the White House, putting Trump at a disadvantage. Moreover, on Thursday, Oct. 15, Biden and Trump held separate town hall meetings on ABC and NBC, respectively. 

The Numbers, Nationally

This week, according to the polls added on Oct. 18 on FiveThirtyEight, Biden continues to poll at around 50% nationally while Trump’s polls increased to around 44%. Although these numbers keep Biden in the lead, Trump has tightened the race by two percent. These current polls show that Biden’s numbers slightly slipped in the past week and Trump’s increased. The increase in Trump’s numbers could reflect more Republicans rallying around him and more support for third-party candidates. 

A Little Background

Four years ago, in 2016, almost all presidential polls pointed to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton winning the election over Donald Trump. Two weeks before the election, Clinton polled at 47% while Trump polled at 40%.  These numbers are similar to those of Biden and Trump right now. However, Trump’s increased support and numbers in the past week show that he still has a fighting chance of winning the presidency again. It is important to understand that the polls at this moment do not indicate the true outcome of the election. With a debate coming up on Oct. 22, the fight for the Supreme Court continuing and the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine intensifying, the polls in the next final weeks can change drastically. 

‘Till Next Week

Polls often change, and rapidly. Check in next Tuesday to see how the two presidential candidates fare in this week’s polls.