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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Back to Daily – National Polls Differ – North Carolina even

Your Daily Polling Update for Monday, August 17


Same as Friday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on six polls, ranging from 41% (Reuters) to 47% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes it would still be 44%…. Trump’s disapproval rating averages 54% today, which is 10 points higher than his approval rating…. See the trend in Trump’s job approval average since the beginning of 2020 at approval trend.

Publication note: To make sure you’re getting new election polls hot-off-the-press, we’re now going back to a daily publication schedule (Monday thru Friday). 


Among general election voters


(CBS) Biden over Trump: +10 (52-42)
(WSJ/NBC) Biden over Trump: +9 (50-41)
(WaPo/ABC) Biden over Trump: +10 (54-44)
(CNN): Biden over Trump: +4 (50-46)
Average: Biden +8.3

RON’S COMMENT: Four new polls––three showing Biden well ahead and one, the CNN poll, has the race a good bit tighter…. Findings from the WSJ/NBC poll:

  • Referendum on the incumbent: 36% of Biden’s voters say they’re more for Biden and 58% say they’re more against Trump. On the other hand, 74% of Trump’s voters say they’re more for Trump and 20% say they’re more against Biden.
  • Age/capacity issue: 39% of voters believe Trump has the necessary mental and physical health to be president, while 37% say Biden does. This indicates that Biden continues to have a problem here. It also indicates that Trump does as well.
  • Bring the country together: Biden stomps Trump on this one––49 to 26.
  • US House: 50% of voters think it would be bad if Republicans won control of the House, while 32% say it would be good…. 44% of voters think it would be bad if Democrats won control of the House, while 36% say it would be good.
  • Job approval vs. vote: Trump’s job approval rating is higher than his re-election vote in the WSJ/NBC poll: 44% vs. 41%. Why is this so? Is it because secret Trump supporters are reluctant to admit they’re voting for him are, but are willing to nod approval of his job performance?


State Trump carried in 2016: 
TEXAS: Trump +7

RON’S COMMENT: The last five North Carolina polls give Trump an average lead of six-tenths of a point. In 2016, Trump won the state by 4 points. This poll shows Trump and Biden even…. Unlike some other polls that have been showing Biden a threat in Texas, this one gives Trump a clear lead. In 2016, Trump won Texas by 9 points.


Among voters nationwide

I’m going to read you the names of some public figures and groups and I’d like you to rate your feelings toward each one as very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don’t know the name, please just say so. 

% = Positive/Negative
Barack Obama: 54%/34%
Kamala Harris: 39%/35%
Mike Pence: 39%/44%
Joe Biden: 39%/45%
The Democratic Party: 36%/44%
The Republican Party: 35%/46%
Donald Trump: 40%/52%

RON’S COMMENT: Bad news for Trump––it doesn’t look like there’s much mileage for Republicans to attack the Obama-Biden administration. Obama has the highest positive and lowest negative ratings on the board. Also, the Trump negative is 18 points higher than for Obama, 7 points higher than for Biden and 17 points higher than for Harris….Not so bad news for Trump––This poll was taken during the “honeymoon” period for the freshly minted Biden-Harris ticket, and it shows Biden and Harris with the same positive rating as Pence (39%) and a slightly lower positive rating than Trump (40%).


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: CNN, Aug. 12-15; WSJ/NBC, Aug. 9-12; CBS/YouGov, Aug. 12-14; Washington Post/ABC, Aug. 12-15
NORTH CAROLINA: East Carolina Univ., Aug. 12-13
TEXAS: Rice/YouGov, Aug. 4-13

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Lunchtime Politics is owned and published by Ron Faucheux, Chief Analyst at Certus Insights. For interviews or speeches about polling and political trends, contact Dr. Faucheux at

The publisher of this report cannot attest to the reliability or methodology of surveys that it does not conduct.

Copyright 2020 Ronald A. Faucheux

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Ron Faucheux

Dr. Faucheux is a nationally respected public opinion analyst with a unique background in public policy and legislative research, public communications and message strategies. He combines professional competence with pragmatic problem solving skills.