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Voters moving away from Biden after debate: new IBD/TIPP poll

The nation’s most accurate polling organization says that Joe Biden‘s lead over Donald Trump has been cut in half.  In its new election poll, IBD/TIPP found that Biden is up by just 2.7 points (48.6% to 45.9%) among likely voters, which is within the poll’s margin of error. An IBD/TIPP poll of likely voters released on Sept. 21 indicated Biden had a 5.6-point lead, 49.5% to 43.9%. An early September IBD/TIPP showed Biden with an eight-point edge, 49% to 41%, among registered voters. The IBD/TIPP presidential election poll has been the most accurate over the past four election cycles and was one of only two national polls to correctly predict the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election.

The news comes as IBD/TIPP found that Trump supporters are unlikely to admit their preference for Trump it to pollsters.

“Overall, 20% of registered voters say they’re uncomfortable revealing their preferred candidate, but that rises to 28% among independents,” it found. That means that there could a several point lead by Trump over Biden that polls are not capturing.

Those who changed minds after debate now support Trump

Notably, 19% of voters who watched or listened to the first presidential debate indicated that they plan to switch their vote, with the majority of those swinging towards Trump (11% vs. Biden’s pickup of 8%), even though more people thought that Biden won the debate (44% to Trump’s 33%).

The latest IBD/TIPP poll surveyed 1,221 registered voters, from September 30 to October 1– after the Trump-Biden presidential debate on Tuesday night but before the early Friday news that President Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus. The poll was conducted online using TechnoMetrica’s network of online panels to provide the sample due to COVID-19. The weighted likely voter sample reflects 411 Democrats, 403 Republicans and 201 independent voters.

“The latest data shows there are a lot more moving pieces in play for the election than most people realize,” said Ed Carson, IBD’s news editor. “This is a horse race that remains up for grabs. Ninety-seven percent of registered voters indicated that they are likely to vote in the election, and 19% shared that their vote is likely to change before November 3rd. Now with President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, the race becomes even more unpredictable.”

More Key Data Points:

  • Forty-nine percent of voters disapprove of the job Trump is currently doing, and yet 45% of voters expect Trump to win, compared to 36% who believe Biden will win.
  • IBD/TIPP finds that 19% of registered voters say they’re at least somewhat likely to change their mind before Election Day. That group includes 26% of intended Trump voters and 13% of intended Biden voters.
  • In urban areas, 35% of voters are likely to change their minds before the election while only 10% of suburban voters and 14% of rural voters are likely to change who they support.
  • Notably, individuals in the 25-44 age bracket are the most likely to change their vote (41%). Currently Trump holds a slight lead with this demographic– 48% to 46%.
  • Looking across racial lines, Hispanics are the most likely demographic to change their vote at 41%, and white women are the most locked in, with 90% indicating that they are unlikely to change their decision.
  • Based on the first presidential debate, Biden was perceived as more likeable (54% to 34%) and more presidential (51% to 37%). He won on issues like COVID-19 (49% to 40%), race (49% to 40%), election integrity (48% to 38%) and command of the issues (46% to 43%).
  • Trump scored points in the debate based on the Supreme Court (45% to 40%), the economy (47% to 44%) and mental sharpness (47% to 42%).
  • Mirroring the general population, 19% of voters in swing states who watched or listened to the debate said they are changing their vote. Yet, unlike the general population, the change in these key battleground states benefited Biden, with 12% migrating to his side vs. 7% shifting to Trump.

“Customary wisdom says that the presidential debate didn’t make a difference to voters, but in this case, the data shows that is a false narrative. A 19% swing is substantial,” said Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica, who directed the poll. “Four years ago, everyone said the race was over, and we all saw how that turned out. Based on the data we are seeing, the 2020 election is far from decided.”

Starting Oct. 12, the IBD/TIPP Presidential Tracking Poll will provide daily updates of the Biden vs. Trump race.

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–Wire services