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Hofstra poll: Joe Biden with 11-point lead over Donald Trump nationwide

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a summit at Camp North End in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 23. Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster

Joe Biden holds an 11.3 percentage point lead over President Donald Trump among likely voters nationwide, and has a 9.5-point edge over Trump among suburban voters, according to Hofstra University's new Kalikow Center Poll.

Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee and a former vice president, also holds wide leads over Trump, a Republican, among suburban women voters and college-educated suburban voters, the poll found.

Among voters nationwide, Biden leads Trump by 53.2% to 41.9%, while 5% of respondents prefer "someone else."

Biden is ahead of Trump among suburban voters by a margin of 52.3% to 42.8%, according to the poll.

Overall, the poll "strongly implies that likely voters in the suburbs are breaking for Biden," poll authors wrote.

"The message that the poll indicates is that the president’s message that he will keep the suburbs safe, that the suburbs can count on him, is not persuasive at this point," said Meena Bose, executive dean of Hofstra’s Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs.

Trump in recent months has touted his administration's rollback of an Obama-era program designed to combat racial segregation in suburban housing, and has tried to tie Biden to efforts by some activists to defund the police. Trump ads have warned, "you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America."

Biden's campaign says the Democratic candidate opposes moves to defund the police. Earlier this month, Biden said: "Donald Trump warns that integration is threatening our suburbs. That's ridiculous. You know what is actually threatening our suburbs? Wildfires are burning the suburbs of the west. Floods are wiping out suburban neighborhoods in the Midwest … "

The poll by the Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency collected responses from 2,000 likely voters, from Sept. 14-22.

YouGov, a firm specializing in online polling that conducted the poll, oversampled suburban voters.

The poll found suburban women favor Biden over Trump by a margin of nearly 20 percentage points — with 58.3% supporting Biden, and 38.6% backing Trump.

College-educated suburbanites favor Biden over Trump by a margin of 57.1% to 40%, the poll found.

Suburban women who "tipped the scales" for Trump in 2016 and college-educated suburbanites, "are not with him as much" in 2020, said Craig Burnett, a Hofstra political science professor and Kalikow School Poll program director.

The poll also showed 73% percent of likely voters were dissatisfied with the direction of the country, up from 57% in early March, largely before the coronavirus pandemic became a major issue.

On the economy, 50.2% of voters approved of Trump’s handling of the economy, while 49.8% disapproved.

In the March survey by the Kalikow school, 55.3% of likely voters supported Trump's handling of the economy, compared with 44.7% who disapproved.

Many prospective voters also distrust the electoral process.

If the results of the Nov. 3 election remain undecided for several days or more after Election Day, 10.6% of voters said they ultimately would view the results as "not accurate and fair," the poll found.

However, only 4% of Democrats held that view, compared with 20% of Republicans.

Nearly 80% of Republicans believe mail-in voting is "not secure," while 87.6% of all Democrats believe mail-in voting is secure.

"So much of that is coming from the fact that we’re at a low point in the political process and our trust in institutions," Burnett said.

Among other poll findings:

Likely voters by a margin of 60 % to 40% say public health should be the priority over the economy in the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. But the issue is "deeply partisan," poll authors wrote. More than 90% of Democrats "say public health should be prioritized, while more than 75% of Republicans believe the economy should be the top priority."

Fifty-one percent of likely voters said racism was a problem in America "and favor some kind of government reparations for descendants of slavery." Support for reparations was up by about six percentage points compared with the March poll.

Sixty-six percent of respondents were concerned about foreign interference in the presidential election, compared with 59% in March.

METHODOLOGY

The poll was conducted by YouGov for the Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency at Hofstra University.

Online responses were collected from 2,000 prospective voters, between Sept. 14-22.

The overall margin of error is plus or minus 2.92 percentage points. The margin of error for suburbanites is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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