2020 Vision Polling Tuesday #3: Biden Solidifies Lead After Third Presidential Debate


Nicole Markus and Bella Martin

Welcome to polling Tuesday, a weekly update from the 2020 Vision Election Blog. The election is exactly one week 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, the polls added on Oct. 18 showed Vice President Joe Biden polling at around 50% nationally while incumbent President Donald Trump polled around 44%. Although these numbers kept Biden in the lead, Trump had tightened the race by two percent. The polls showed that Biden’s numbers started to slip and Trump’s began to increase. The increase in Trump’s numbers last week possibly reflected more Republicans rallying around him and more support for third-party candidates. 

The Numbers, Nationally

This week, according to the polls added on Oct. 25, Biden continues to hold the lead, polling at around 52% while Trump continues to trail behind at around 44%. These polls show that Biden solidified his lead in the past week and they show no significant increase in Trump’s numbers. The increase in Biden’s numbers could possibly reflect voter sentiment after the third presidential debate on Oct. 22. According to the CNN Instant Poll, 53% of voters who watched the debate believed that Biden won while 39% believed Trump did. Moreover, the approval from this final presidential debate could have been the last chance for Trump to significantly tighten the race. 

A Little Background

After the third presidential debate between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Trump in 2016, viewer support strongly resembled that of Biden and Trump right now. According to the CNN Instant Poll, 52% of voters believed Clinton won the debate while 39% believed Trump did. Additionally, in 2016, all of the polls pointed to Clinton as the winner of the election. A week before the election, Clinton polled at 45% while Trump polled at 41% in the national polls. This year’s polls show Biden having a greater lead over Trump than Clinton had. However, it is important to understand that the polls at this moment and these comparisons do not indicate the true outcome of the election. 

Early Voting… a Lot of It

The election takes place next week on Nov. 3. However, early voting already began across the country, with reports of record high voter turnout, especially among young voters and in important swing states such as Florida. Though there is no way to guarantee what this means for either candidate, young voters generally lean more to the left than right, so this could indicate a possible lead for Biden. 

‘Till Next Week

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