2020 poll watch
Biden's polling lead over Trump holds steady at 8 points, but his sizable cash advantage is new
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday showed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leading President Trump by 8 percentage points, 51 percent to 43 percent, among registered voters — the same margin the poll showed in February, before COVID-19, the economic swoon, the anti-racism protests following George Floyd's death, and all the other craziness of 2020.
"Simply put: In 2020, the fundamentals of our country have been shaken to our core, while the fundamentals of the election have not," said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt, who conducted the survey with Republican Bill McInturff. NBC's Chuck Todd made a smiler point on Sunday's Meet the Press.
But one thing has changed: money. Biden and the Democratic National Committee entered September with $466 million in the bank, a cash advantage of $141 million over Trump and the Republican National Committee's $325 million, The New York Times reported Sunday night, citing newly released campaign finance reports. In the spring, Trump and the RNC had a $187 million lead over Biden and the DNC.
In August alone, the joint Biden-DNC committee brought in a record $364.5 million while the Trump-RNC committee raised $210 million. The Biden campaign alone raised $212 million and spent $130.3 million; the Trump campaign raised $61.7 million, spent $61.2 million, and added about $900,000 in debt. "Money in the candidate's own committees, as opposed to the political party's account, is the most valuable of funds because election rules require those accounts to pay for certain types of spending, such as television ads," the Times reports.
Some Republicans are baffled at Trump's financial disadvantage, given that he and the RNC raised $1.3 billion since 2018. Trump's campaign says it invested heavily in a ground campaign it says Biden can never match.
The WSJ/NBC poll found a record 75 percent of voters rating their interest in the election a 10 out of 10, and more than 70 percent say the debates won't sway their decision much or at all. In another sign the electorate is pretty set, 38 percent said they won't vote for Biden under any circumstances versus 47 percent who said the same of Trump. The poll was conducted Sept. 13-16 among 1,000 voters, and its martin of error is ± 3.1 percentage points.
RealClearPolitics gives Biden a 6.5-point lead it its aggregate of polls; FiveThirtyEight gives Biden a 6.7-point lead and 77 percent odds to win the Electoral College.