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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: New, Infrequent Voters – Vote Counting – Looking at Biden

Your Daily Polling Update for Friday, September 18


Up 1 from yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on four polls. The range is 38% (Politico) to 53% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes, it would be 44%…. President 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

In the States

States Trump carried in 2016: 
NORTH CAROLINA (Kaiser)Biden +2
ARIZONA (Kaiser): Biden +5
ARIZONA (NYT): Biden +9
FLORIDA (Kaiser): Biden +1
WISCONSIN (Morning Consult): Biden +9

States Clinton carried in 2016: 
MAINE (NYT): Biden +17

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s polling shows continued strength for Biden in Michigan and Wisconsin, an improved position for him in Arizona and close calls in Florida and North Carolina.


Among general election voters in each state

Sara Gideon (D) over Sen. Susan Collins (R): +5 (49-44)

COMMENT: The last poll we reported, from Quinnipiac, showed Democrat Gideon with a surprisingly large 12-point lead that some political operatives questioned. This poll is in line with other recent polling. Handicappers rate the race tossup.

Sen. Gary Peters (D) over John James (R): +4 (45-41)

COMMENT: This race has tightened. Incumbent Peters has an average 4.8-point margin based on the last four polls. Handicappers rate it lean Democratic.

Cal Cunningham (D) over Sen. Thom Tillis (R): +5 (42-37)

COMMENT: This may become the most polled Senate race in history. Handicappers rate it a tossup.

Mark Kelly (D) over Sen. Martha McSally (R): +8 (50-42)

RON’S COMMENT: If North Carolina isn’t the most polled Senate race in history, this one is. Handicappers rate the contest lean Democratic.


Among “new and infrequent voters” in six critical states

Surveys conducted Sept. 9-13 of voters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by Change Research, a Democratic affiliated firm, finds that:

  • Biden leads by 49-37 among new and infrequent voters in these six key states. This voter group went for Hillary Clinton by 35-30.
  • Infrequent voters are highly motivated to vote in the presidential election in 2020, and many are still persuadable. 84% say they will definitely vote, and 76% rate their motivation a 10 out of 10.
  • “Large majorities of these voters are also already planning ahead for how they will vote: 92% of voters who say they will vote by mail/ dropbox plan to submit their ballots well before election day, and 83% have already requested their ballot.”
  • “Biden’s biggest gains over Clinton’s margin are among suburban voters, Latinx voters, young voters, and women. He sees a net gain of 13 points among suburban voters, 10 among Latinx voters, 11 among voters under 35, and 10 among women.”
  • “A key segment of these voters is still up for grabs — 9% of voters surveyed initially say they are undecided or would not vote if forced to choose between Trump and Biden. The groups most likely to be initially undecided are independents (36%), voters of color (14%), people who didn’t vote in 2016 (17%), and 2016 third-party voters (19%).”
  • “There’s a clear opportunity for Biden with undecided voters: although these voters are largely negative about both candidates, they’re much more strongly negative about Trump than Biden. Undecided voters rate Trump far more unfavorably (net -53) than Biden (net -38). Furthermore, 41% of undecided voters have no opinion of Biden.”
  • New and infrequent voters are defined as “those who only voted in 2016, or registered after January 1, 2016, or who were registered before 2016, skipped 2016, and have voted in no more than 1 election since.”


Among voters nationwide

How much confidence do you have that your vote in the 2020 presidential election will be counted accurately? 

A great deal/quite a bit: 56%
A moderate amount: 24%
Only a little/none at all: 16%

RON’S COMMENT: A majority of voters have “a great deal” or “quite a bit” of confidence that their votes will be counted accurately, and another 24% have a moderate amount of confidence. Only 16% have “only a little” or no confidence at all…. 64% of Biden supporters and 46% of Trump supporters have “a great deal” or “quite a bit” of confidence.


Among voters nationwide

Likability: Regardless of whether you agree with him, do you like or dislike Joe Biden as a person? 

Like a lot/like somewhat: 37%
Neither like nor dislike: 25%
Dislike somewhat/dislike a lot: 29%
Not sure: 9%

RON’S COMMENT: 78% of Biden supporters and 10% of Trump supporters say they like Biden a lot or somewhat. Interestingly, 15% of Biden’s own supporters neither like nor dislike him and another 5% don’t like him.

Leadership: Would you say Joe Biden is a strong or a weak leader? 

Strong leader: 47%
Weak leader: 53%

RON’S COMMENT: 89% of Biden supporters and 6% of Trump supporters say Biden is a strong leader. 11% of Biden supporters and 94% of Trump supporters say Biden is a weak leader.

Extreme political views: Would you say that Joe Biden holds extreme political views? 

Yes: 39%
No: 48%
Not sure: 13%

RON’S COMMENT: While most voters say Biden does not hold extreme views, fewer than 50% agree…. 16% of Biden supporters and 68% of Trump supporters say Biden holds extreme views.

Positive or negative campaigning: Do you think Joe Biden spends more explaining what he will do if elected president or attacking Donald Trump? 

Explaining what he will do if elected president: 44%
Attacking Donald Trump: 43%
Not sure: 12%

RON’S COMMENT: 78% of Biden supporters and 9% of Trump supporters say Biden spends more time explaining what he will do.

CrimeAre you confident in Joe Biden’s ability to deal wisely with crime in the U.S., or are you uneasy about his approach?

Confident in Biden: 42%
Uneasy with Biden: 46%
Not sure: 12%

RON’S COMMENT: When the issue is crime or law and order, Biden falls short. When the issue is policing or criminal justice reform, Biden does better…. Worth noting: 36% of Whites, 70% of Blacks and 48% of Hispanics have confidence in Biden’s handling of the crime issue. The crime issue is clearly not helping Biden among White voters.

CORRECTION: Yesterday, we reported a poll showing Sen. Lindsey Graham tied with his Democratic opponent, which was correct. However, we commented that handicappers rate the race “likely or lean Democratic.” That should have been “likely or lean Republican.”


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
VOTE COUNTING, BIDEN: The Economist/YouGov, Sept. 13-15
NEW AND INFREQUENT VOTERS: Change Research (D) for Crooked Media, Sept. 9-13

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.