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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: New State Polls – Coronavirus – Closest States Last Time

Your Daily Polling Update for Wednesday, August 26



Up 1 from yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Most of the interviewing for today’s polls was conducted right after the Democratic “convention” and it shows Trump has slightly increased his rating, despite the volley of attacks leveled against him…. Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 42% (Politico, Reuters) to 47% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes it would be 45%…. Trump’s disapproval rating averages 54% today (down 1 from yesterday)…. See the trend in Trump’s job approval average since the beginning of 2020 at approval trend.

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Among general election voters

Nationwide Popular Vote

(Economist) Biden +9
(CNBC) Biden +8
Average: Biden +8.5

RON’S COMMENT: The Economist poll was conducted Sunday, Monday and Tuesday––after the Democratic “convention” and during the opening two days of the Republican “convention.” It shows Biden’s lead slipping slightly over the past week by 1 point, from 10 to 9 points …. The CNBC poll shows Biden lengthening his lead over the past two weeks by 2 points, from 6 to 8 points.


States Trump carried in 2016: 
MICHIGAN: Biden +6
FLORIDA: Biden +3
ARIZONA: Biden +2

State Clinton carried in 2016: 
VIRGINIA: Biden +14

RON’S COMMENT: Biden continues to carry key states that Trump won in 2016, but his margins are often small. This polling has Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona and North Carolina within 3 points. Most importantly, these polls were taken right after the Democratic “convention,” when Biden should have been at his best…. Of course, we can’t forget that Biden does not have to carry all of these states to win. If he picks up Michigan and Wisconsin, and either Florida or Pennsylvania, he wins with room to spare…. While Virginia has always been in Biden’s column, this poll shows him doing a good bit better than Hillary Clinton did in 2016, when she won it by 5 points. However, this poll from Roanoke College had a lengthy interviewing window of almost two weeks, which is always suspect in a presidential race with fast-moving events.


Among adults nationwide

Believe Virus Death StatsDo you think the government is accurately reporting the number of people who have died from COVID-19 or do you think more people have died from the virus or fewer people have died from the virus?

More people have died from the virus: 35%
The government numbers are accurate: 15%
Fewer people have died: 28%
Don’t know: 22%

COMMENT: 57% of Democrats and 13% of Republicans believe more people have died than reported.

Getting VaccinatedIf and when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, will you get vaccinated?

Yes: 40%
No: 29%
Not sure: 32%

COMMENT: 44% of Whites, 28% of Blacks, 26% of Hispanics, 57% of Democrats and 36% of Republicans say they will get vaccinated.

K-12 Education: Do you believe that K-12 schools should reopen for in-person learning or online learning this fall?

Completely in-person: 14%
Mix of in-person and online: 43%
Completely online: 34%

RON’S COMMENT: Only 14% of Americans favor reopening K-12 schools completely in-person…. 4% of Biden’s voters and 34% of Trump’s voters favor reopening completely in-person.


Election data

These were the closest states in the 2016 Trump vs. Clinton election:

Won by less than 1-point margins

  • Michigan: Trump won by two-tenths of a point
  • New Hampshire: Clinton won by four-tenths of a point
  • Pennsylvania: Trump won by seven-tenths of a point
  • Wisconsin: Trump won by eight-tenths of a point

Won by margins between 1 point and 5 points

  • Florida: Trump won by 1.2 points
  • Minnesota: Clinton won by 1.5 points
  • Nevada: Clinton won by 2.4 points
  • Maine: Clinton won by 3 points
  • Arizona: Trump won by 3.6 points
  • North Carolina: Trump won by 3.7 points
  • Colorado: Clinton won by 4.9 points
  • (Nebraska 2nd CD: Trump won by 2.2 points)


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
NATIONAL PRESIDENTIAL: CNBC/Change Research (D), Aug. 21-23; Economist/YouGov, Aug. 23-25
CORONAVIRUS: Economist/YouGov, Aug. 16-18
VIRGINIA: Roanoke College, Aug. 9-22

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Publication schedule: Lunchtime Politics publishes daily, Monday thru Friday, between now and the Nov. 3 election. Thanks to all our readers and best of health, Ron

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.