Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic, Joe Biden Leads Donald Trump by 6 Points in New Presidential Poll

April 3, 2020by Jackson Cote, masslive.com (TNS)
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a primary night election rally in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Though the 2020 presidential race has left the forefront of the news cycle due to the growing international concern about the coronavirus, a lack of visibility does not appear to have hurt the campaign of Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released Tuesday found that the former vice president has a six-point lead over Republican President Donald Trump. Biden’s advantage grew by one point since a similar poll was conducted in early March.

The recent survey, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, interviewed more than 1,100 adults in the U.S. The results showed that 46% of registered voters would support Biden if he were running against Trump. 40% of the respondents said they would vote for the incumbent, according to Reuters.

The news outlet did not mention how Biden’s Democratic primary competitor, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, would fare against Trump. The self-proclaimed Democratic socialist has more than 300 delegates less than the former vice president.

The Democratic primary race has been essentially halted as the outbreak of COVID-19 has spread throughout the world. The last state elections were held in Arizona, Florida and Illinois. The ongoing pandemic kept some election workers and voters at home and impacted polling sites.

Ohio’s primary was called off only hours before polls were set to open. Uncertainty remains for other states’ elections as state leaders have issued either stay-at-home guidelines or orders in the wake of the pandemic.

CNN also canceled its live audience for the Democratic presidential primary debate between Biden and Sanders on March 15 to prevent transmission of the virus.

The results from the Reuters/Ipsos poll appear to show that not being in the public eye during the health crisis has not hurt Biden’s run.

The former vice president has called for a nationwide shutdown in the midst of the pandemic, differing from Trump’s comments earlier this month in which the president said he would like to relax social distancing advisories. Trump has appeared to backtrack from his comment, though, extending federal stay-at-home guidelines to the end of April.

Biden, who has issued his own plan for how he would combat the spread of COVID-19, has been a harsh critic of the president’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. The former vice president claimed Trump has been unprepared and hid facts from the public.

In an opinion editorial published by USA Today in late January, Biden said the president is the “worst possible leader” to deal with the pandemic.

“To be blunt, I am concerned that the Trump administration’s shortsighted policies have left us unprepared for a dangerous epidemic that will come sooner or later,” Biden wrote.

According to the Reuters/Ipsos poll, around 48% of respondents said they liked the way the president has responded to the outbreak. The number stands in contrast to the roughly 70% approval rating for state governors’ handling of the pandemic.

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©2020 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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