CNN Poll Showing Trump Pulling Ahead Adds Pressure on Biden

Brian Snyder
Brian Snyder

The first major poll after Joe Biden’s debate with Donald Trump dealt the president a fresh blow Tuesday, showing him trailing by six points.

The CNN poll was the first to be carried out in the wake of Thursday’s stumbling performance and will increase pressure on the embattled Biden to either step aside or offer a major reset to reassure his supporters and donors.

For the past several weeks, the race had been tightening, with Trump’s lead much more negligible between one and three points nationally, according to FiveThirtyEight’ model.

The new CNN poll, taken after the debate, appears to confirm Democrats’ worst fears.

Despite months of tightening in the race and the early debate offering Biden a chance to kickstart his lagging bid against Trump, much of that progress seems to have been reversed.

All the way back in April, Biden trailed Trump by the same amount—six points—in a CNN survey.

Eyes will now turn to a poll set to be released by The New York Times tomorrow to see whether it supports the findings of Tuesday’s CNN poll.

The new results will only crank up the pressure from Democrats to have Biden step aside and allow either Vice President Kamala Harris or someone else to become the new nominee.

The poll also found most voters think the Democrats will have a better shot at holding onto the White House if Biden steps aside.

A full 75 percent of voters surveyed said the Democrats would have a better chance if someone other than Biden were the nominee, a devastating number for the White House.

Biden’s approval rating hit a new nadir in the same poll, now sitting at a dangerously low 36 percent following the debate.

Notably, the poll was not terrible for Harris.

She only trailed Trump by two points in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, at 45 percent for her and 47 percent for the former president.

Another siliver lining for Democrats: despite Biden’s poor showing in the debate, the CNN poll found voters are seeing the election primarily through the lens of Trump—whether for or against.

“Both Biden and Trump supporters have grown likelier to say their choice is an affirmative vote of support rather than one against the opposing party’s candidate,” CNN said in its summary of the poll, “but the election continues to be driven more by feelings about Trump than about Biden.”

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