As President Trump recovers from coronavirus, new polls conducted by NBC/WSJ and NYT/Siena College have found that former Vice-President Biden is taking the lead nationally and in the state of Arizona, respectively. Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman joins The Final Round to break down the polls and to discuss how President Trump is faring politically amid his health concerns.
SEANA SMITH: And Rick Newman, we're just 29 days away from the election. In terms of how President Trump's health is factoring into this, into his campaign plans, what do you think we can expect from the final weeks of the campaign?
RICK NEWMAN: I guess the biggest question is whether Biden maintains his lead or widens it and continues the trend we've seen over about the last seven days. So you guys remember the presidential debate. It seems like it was about a year ago, but it was only five days ago. And polls that have just been coming out recently that were taken after the debate showed that Biden's lead does seem to have widened by-- to more than double digits in some national polls. There was another poll in Arizona that shows Biden with what seems like, I think, a seven-point lead there. That's been considered a toss-up state. Now, as Andy Serwer would point out, you can't believe the polls, and everybody should be very skeptical of all this.
But before President Trump's COVID diagnosis and his trip to Walter Reed, Biden was improving on his lead. And now, Trump has to explain, you know, that all the-- you know, the White House is now the epicenter of a COVID outbreak on the East coast of the United States. So we've heard the spin that some of Trump's advisors are trying out, that now Trump has firsthand knowledge of COVID and he can put that to use better than Joe Biden, who does not have firsthand knowledge of COVID. I think you have to be pretty gullible to believe that. But I think one thing for sure is boy, the next four weeks are really going to be interesting. I guess the most immediate question is whether Trump will actually make it to the next debate, which is 10 days from now.
SEANA SMITH: And Rick, if he doesn't make it to the debate, I mean, how big of a setback do you think that could be for Trump over the next couple of weeks?
RICK NEWMAN: I think it would be a real problem for him. I mean, if he is so infirm that he cannot make it to a debate, I mean, that undermines everything about his persona that he wants voters to believe-- that he's strong, that he beat COVID. You know, everybody is going to be able to tell for themselves in 10 days without the spin, you know, without the doctor giving the happy talk and giving some medical info but not giving other medical info. I mean, everybody will be able to see.
First of all, does Trump show up for the debate in 10 days? And then how well does he perform? Does he seem like his usual self? And he's normally pretty energetic. Or does he seem deflated or something else?
You know, when I say it and I hear it out loud, 10 days from now, I think to myself, my god, how many different scandals or, you know, big surprises are we going to have between now and then? Probably several. But we'll get there, and then there's one more debate scheduled after that. By the way, this week, we do have the vice presidential debate. That's important, too, probably a little bit more important than usual.
AKIKO FUJITA: Rick, how much of this really matters, given just how many people are already voting? I can't tell you how many conversations I had over the weekend of people just getting their ballots. Most of those people-- or a lot of those people I spoke to had already made up their minds. It wasn't necessarily any headline late in the game that would sway them. So I'm curious how much we can measure that part of the calculation.
RICK NEWMAN: How much we can measure it, probably not so well. You know, who-- these are almost imponderables, in terms of the timing, you know, coming into the last month of a presidential election, you know, the incumbent president gets whisked off to the hospital for what's possibly a life-threatening condition. But it really does matter, and here's the reason it really matters. It's in every American's interest that this election outcome is crystal clear at the earliest possible date, whether that's a Biden-- a convincing Biden win or a convincing Trump win.
And the more it tilts in Biden's favor, the more likely it is that, you know, we might even know the outcome on election night, which a lot of election experts have been warning us-- do not expect the election on November 3 itself. And if we have to count votes for another three days or even a week, it's not fraud. It's just the amount of time it takes to count the votes. Well, it would be a relief to, you know, almost everybody if we could just know the outcome very quickly after the voting closes. And if Biden's lead gets any bigger, we might.