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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Economic Stimulus – Democracy – Swing States Tightening?

Your Daily Polling Update for Friday, October 16


Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 42% (Economist) to 48% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes it would be 43%…. Trump’s disapproval rating averages 54% today (same as yesterday)…. See the trend in Trump’s job approval average since the beginning of 2020 at approval trend.


Among general election voters

Nationwide Popular Vote

(IBD/TIPP) Biden +5 (49-44-3-1)
Average of last four polls: Biden +8.8

RON’S COMMENT: In a head-to-head race, Biden leads this IBD/TIPP survey by 6 points––a little better than than his 5-point edge when third-party candidates are included. This poll also shows Biden slipping by 3.7 points since Monday. One bit of good news for Biden: He wins suburban voters in this poll, 54- 38. In 2016, Trump won suburban voters, 50-45.

In the States

States Trump carried in 2016
NORTH CAROLINA (Emerson): Even
FLORIDA (Mason-Dixon): Biden +3
PENNSYLVANIA (Insider Advantage): Biden +3
MICHIGAN (Trafalgar-R): Trump +1

States Clinton carried in 2016
HAWAII (Civil Beat): Biden +33

RON’S COMMENT: Are swing states tightening up? Overall, today’s state polls are blah for Biden…. He leads Florida, which is good for the Democrats, but his Pennsylvania margin in this poll is too close for comfort…. North Carolina is even…. The Michigan poll from a Republican-oriented firm has Trump slightly ahead, although it’s an outlier based on other recent polling. The three previous polls from Michigan give Biden an average lead of 8.3 points.


Among voters in each state

Cal Cunningham (D) over Sen. Thom Tillis (R): +1 (45-44)

RON’S COMMENT: This poll shows the North Carolina Senate race very tight. Most other recent polls have had Cunningham with a wider lead. Is this delayed reaction to Cunningham’s sexting scandal?

VIRGINIA (Roanoke College)
Sen. Mark Warner (D) over Daniel Gade (R): +17 55-38)

RON’S COMMENT: Warner maintains a solid lead.


Among voters nationwide

Do you think Congress should or should not pass a new economic stimulus bill in response to the coronavirus pandemic? 

Congress should pass bill: 74%
Congress should not pass a bill: 10%
Not sure: 15%

Who do you think is at least somewhat responsible for the end of negotiations over the coronavirus stimulus bill? Select all that apply. (MORE THAN ONE ANSWER ALLOWED)

Democrats in Congress: 45%
President Trump: 44%
Republicans in Congress: 40%
Not sure: 13%

RON’S COMMENT: Among independents––51% say Democrats in Congress, 40% say Republicans in Congress and 47% say President Trump is at least somewhat responsible for the end of negotiations. NOTE: More than one answer was allowed, which is why the results add up to more than 100.


Among U.S. voters nationwide

Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way democracy is working in the United States today? 

Satisfied: 31%
Dissatisfied: 62%

RON’S COMMENT: A solid majority of U.S. voters are not satisfied with the way democracy is working. 80% of Biden’s voters and 42% of Trump’s voters are not satisfied.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements: 

Elected officials care what ordinary people think 
Agree: 30%
Disagree: 63%

No matter who wins an election, things do not change very much 
Agree: 35%
Disagree: 58%

The more people who vote, the better American democracy is  
Agree: 81%
Disagree: 12%

Many citizens are not smart enough to vote  
Agree: 36%
Disagree: 57%

Americans should be required to pass a test before being allowed to vote 
Agree: 24%
Disagree: 66%

Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prosperity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.
Agree: 41%
Disagree: 36%

We’re not a democracy. 
Agree: 48%
Disagree: 40%

RON’S COMMENT: Note that more voters think “we’re not a democracy” than those who do (48% vs. 40%)––and 49% of Biden’s supporters and 48% of Trump’s supporters agree.

Privilege or right? Which comes closest to your opinion: 

Voting is a privilege: 27%
Voting is a right: 73%

RON’S COMMENT: 16% of Biden’s supporters and 42% of Trump’s supporters say voting is a privilege.


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
STATE POLLS: Pollsters indicated along with results; most interviewing done within the last week, or otherwise noted. 
ECONOMIC STIMULUS, DEMOCRACY: The Economist/YouGov, Oct. 11-13

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.