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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Stimulus Package – Court Packing – Mask Mandate – Tons of New Swing State Polls

Your Daily Polling Update for Wednesday, October 21


Up 1 from yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 43% (Politico, NYT) to 49% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes it would still be 45%…. Trump’s disapproval rating averages 53% 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

(SurveyUSA) Biden +10 (53-43)
(CNBC) Biden +10 (52-42)
(Economist) Biden +9 (52-43-2)
(IBD/TIPP) Biden +3 (49-46-3-1)
Average of today’s polls: Biden +8

RON’S COMMENT: Two polls have Biden with 10-point leads and one with a 9-point lead…. Three polls show Trump under polling his 2016 actual popular vote total of 46%. Is it possible there could be a hidden Trump vote that causes him to under poll? The answer is yes, it’s possible; it’s also possible some of his voters from 2016 are now cross-pressured …. Often an outlier, the IBD/TIPP poll shows Biden falling 3 points and Trump gaining 3 points over this past week…. The Economist poll finds:

  • Biden’s personal rating is 51% favorable/48% unfavorable.
  • Trump’s personal rating is 45% favorable/54% unfavorable.
  • Pence’s personal rating is 44% favorable/52% unfavorable.
  • Harris’ personal rating is 50% favorable/45% unfavorable.

In the States

States Trump carried in 2016
NORTH CAROLINA (Reuters): Biden +3
PENNSYLVANIA (USA Today): Biden +7
PENNSYLVANIA (Rasmussen): Biden +3
MICHIGAN (Reuters): Biden +7
IOWA (Insider Advantage): Even
OHIO (Rasmussen): Biden +1

States Clinton carried in 2016
MINNESOTA (MinnPost): Biden +5

RON’S COMMENT: Biden’s North Carolina 3-point lead is encouraging for his campaign. It’s been hard for either candidate to post a steady lead in the state…. The Pennsylvania poll with the 3-point lead is a little scary for Biden, but the one with the 7-point lead will bring joy to his campaign…. It is also good news for Biden that he’s holding up in Michigan and Wisconsin and has decent leads in Florida and Arizona. Additionally, he’s in contention for Ohio, Iowa and maybe even Georgia…. Could Trump upset Biden in Minnesota? Unlikely, given Biden’s polling leads, but it’s one of two Clinton states from 2016 that could become competitive (Nevada is the other one). Currently, Biden is winning both.


Among voters in each state

(Mason-Dixon) Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) over Amy McGrath (D): +9 (51-42)

RON’S COMMENT: McConnell remains well ahead in his re-election race, though his lead drops below the double-digit margin he won by six years ago (15 points). Handicappers rate the race safe or likely Republican.

(Insider Advantage) Theresa Greenfield (D) over Sen. Joni Ernst (R): +5 (48-43)

RON’S COMMENT: This is the 7th poll in a row showing Democrat Greenfield leading Ernst. GOP incumbent Ernst’s recent debate performance hasn’t help her. See this clip about Ernst and the price of soybeans: debate clip

GEORGIA Special Election Open Primary 
Raphael Warnock (D): 32%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R): 23%
Doug Collins (R): 17%
Matt Lieberman (D): 7%

RON’S COMMENT: The last poll we reported had Warnock and Collins tied for first place. But this survey shows Warnock first with incumbent Loeffler second and Collins a fairly distant third. Hard to know exactly what’s going on in this open primary. A runoff in January is likely.

GEORGIA Regular Election (NYT)
Sen. David Perdue (R) and Jon Ossoff (D): Even (43-43)

COMMENT: It appears this race has closed up.

(Reuters) Cal Cunningham (D) over Sen. Thom Tillis (R): Even (47-47)
(ECU) Cal Cunningham (D) over Sen. Thom Tillis (R): +1 (48-47)

COMMENT: This could flip either way. Cunningham’s sexting scandal has apparently left some damage.

(Reuters) Sen. Gary Peters (D) over John James (R): +5 (50-45)
(CNBC) Sen. Gary Peters (D) over John James (R): +5 (50-45)

COMMENT: Two polls with the same results. Incumbent Peters keeps his modest lead, but can’t seem to expand it. James is within striking distance, but can’t quite strike.


Among likely voters

If Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court and Joe Biden is elected president, do you think that Democrats should or should not increase the size of the Supreme Court to include more than nine justices?

Should increase size of Supreme Court: 31%
Should not increase size of Supreme Court: 58%
Don’t know: 11%

COMMENT: 57% of Democrats, 6% of Republicans and 25% of independents favor increasing the size of the Supreme Court. Interestingly, 28% of Democrats oppose expansion of the Court.


Among likely voters


Thinking about the coronavirus pandemic, do you think that the worst of the coronavirus is over, or do you think the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is still to come?

Worst is over: 37%
Worst is still to come: 51%
Don’t know: 12%

COMMENT: 14% of Democrats, 37% of independents and 66% of Republicans say the worst of the pandemic is over.


Among likely voters

Tell me whether you support or oppose….

A national mandate for every American to wear a mask when they expect to come within six feet of another person in public.

Support: 59%
Oppose: 39%

COMMENT: 90% of Democrats, 29% of Republicans and 54% of independents support a mask mandate.

A new 2-trillion-dollar stimulus package to extend increased unemployment insurance, send stimulus checks to most Americans, and provide financial support to state and local governments.

Support: 72%
Oppose: 21%

COMMENT: 91% of Democrats, 56% of Republicans and 67% of independents support a new 2-trillion-dollar stimulus package.


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
NATIONAL PRESIDENTIAL: SurveyUSA, Oct. 16-19; CNBC/Change Res. (D), Oct. 17-18; Economist/You Gov, Oct. 18-20; IBD/TIPP, Oct. 16-20
STATE POLLS: Pollsters indicated along with results; most interviewing done within the last week, or otherwise noted.

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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.