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Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 14 points in new poll with election just over four months away

Ben Riley-Smith
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and Donald Trump, the US president, are just four months away from the election - AP Photo, File

Donald Trump is 14 percentage points behind Joe Biden, a new poll has found, revealing the vast gap the US president must narrow in the next four months if he is to win a second term. 

The New York Times poll matches other recent surveys showing Mr Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, far in the lead as Mr Trump struggles to readjust to an electoral landscape transformed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mr Biden is not just winning by huge margins among women, voters under 50 and African-Americans, according to the poll, but is also ahead with men, a voting group which has consistently been with Mr Trump throughout his presidency.

The findings will cause further alarm in the Trump campaign as it appears to struggle to find a message that connects with voters after the Covid-19 outbreak forced the spotlight onto Mr Trump’s ability to lead during a crisis. 

The pandemic has pushed the US economy into recession, robbing Mr Trump of the booming growth that was the bedrock of his re-election pitch, and left more than 120,000 Americans dead from Covid-19.

A key attack line the Trump campaign had been deploying for months, about how “radical socialists" now dominate the Democratic Party, has also been weakened given Bernie Sanders's failure to win the party’s nomination. 

It means Mr Trump will be hoping for a major change in fortunes in the less than 150 days to go before the vote, which will see both sides holding conventions in August before the much-anticipated head-to-head debates. 

The new poll, which was conducted with Sienna College and asked around 1,300 voters for their views, puts Mr Biden’s lead at the high end of recent similar surveys.

However Mr Biden is constantly shown with a sizable lead. Real Clear Politics, a website which has a rolling average of recent polls, puts Mr Biden’s lead at 10 percentage points. 

While nationwide polling has its limitations - the election will ultimately be won in a handful of battleground states - it provides a snapshot of what US voters feel about the two candidates. 

Mr Trump’s 36 per cent logged by the New York Times is well below the 46 per cent he won in the 2016 election, suggesting many of those with him then are having second thoughts.

Mr Biden leads Mr Trump by 22 percentage points among women, 34 points among those aged under 34 and 74 points among black voters, according to the poll. 

Recent surveys have shown that while Mr Biden is trusted best to handle the coronavirus crisis, Mr Trump is better trusted on the economy. 

The finding helps explain why Mr Trump, a life-long businessman who still frames himself as a political outsider, is expressing hope signs of the economic recovery will emerge before the November 3 election. 

On Tuesday Mr Biden held his first campaign event with Barack Obama, the former US president who he served alongside for eight years. 

Mr Obama warned against complacency, saying: “We can’t be complacent or smug or sense that somehow it’s so obvious that this president hasn’t done a good job, because look, he won once.”

He added: “This is serious business. Whatever you’ve done so far is not enough. And I hold myself and Michelle and our kids to that same standard.”

Some 120,000 people logged on to watch the two men speak in a video conference online, with the campaign saying $7.6 million was raised by the event. 

The ended the event with expressions of warmth. “Love you Joe,” Mr. Obama said to finish the call. “Love you too, pal,” Mr Biden responded. 

Meanwhile Mr Trump was back in Washington meeting the Polish president on Wednesday after a campaign trip saw him visit sections of his border fence in Arizona. 

Around 220 miles of new fencing along the US-Mexico border have been erected during his presidency, though the vast majority replaces barriers that were already in place. 

Mr Trump also addressed a room full of young supporters, most of whom did not wear face masks despite the coronavirus pandemic, at a mega church in Phoenix. 

The president again warned of mass voter fraud through postal ballots, saying: “This will be, in my opinion, the most corrupt election in the history of our country.” 

Mr Trump had voiced similar concerns before the 2016 election, which he claimed would be a “rigged” vote, before defying the polls to win - a feat he hopes to repeat in November.