Biden's double-digit lead over Trump likely over president's COVID-19 response: POLL

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Sunday, July 19, 2020
Trump's polling struggles: New poll shows Biden has 15-point lead
ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz goes over President Donald Trump's polling struggles.

WASHINGTON -- A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has a 15-point lead over incumbent Donald Trump, likely caused by the president's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The poll, released Sunday, shows registered voters prefer Biden at 55-40% less than four months before Election Day.

As the coronavirus crisis worsens in the United States, Biden leads Trump on the issue by a 20-point margin, 54-34%. This is a stark change from three and a half months ago, when the two candidates were nearly even in trust to handle the pandemic, at 45-43% with Trump in the lead.

A new ABC News poll shows 64% of Americans distrust the president's coronavirus response.

Trump has taken an increasingly hands-off approach to the coronavirus crisis in recent days, even as COVID-19 cases and deaths have surged to record highs in a huge slice of the country, including areas where he has enjoyed strong support.

Kellyanne Conway, a White House senior adviser, noted that polls early in the crisis showed that a majority of Americans approved of his handling of the outbreak. This was when Trump was holding near daily briefings.

"I just think the people want to hear from the president of the United States," Conway said. "It doesn't have to be daily. It doesn't have to be for two hours. But in my view, it has to be."

Biden has his own risks, particularly a pronounced lack of enthusiasm for his candidacy. Yet the impact of that deficit remains to be seen: For two-thirds of his supporters, it's chiefly not about electing Biden, but about defeating Trump.

As reported Friday, approval of his handling of the pandemic has fallen from 51% in late March to 38% now, with disapproval up 15 points. He's lost 7 points in approval of his handling of the economy, to 50%, with disapproval up 9.

The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.