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Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 11.4 percentage points in Hofstra poll

A Board of Election worker helps voters as

A Board of Election worker helps voters as they prepare to cast their ballot in the 2020 Presidential Elections on the fourth day of early voting in New York. Credit: Sipa USA via AP/ANTHONY BEHAR/SIPA USA

Joe Biden has an 11.4 percentage point lead over President Donald Trump nationwide, and maintains a 6.3-point edge among suburban voters, according to Hofstra University's new Kalikow Center Poll.

Biden, the Democratic nominee and former vice president, has a "healthy lead with suburbanites, suburban women, and both men and women with a college degree," according to the poll's authors.

Biden leads Trump in all age groups, except voters ages 65 and older. Voters ages 65 and older support Trump over Biden, 53.5% to 45.8%.

"With less than one week until Election Day, the fundamentals of the presidential race suggest that President Trump is in a weak position and, as a result, prospects for a second term are dim," the authors wrote.


Trump vs. Biden

Biden enjoys an 11.4 percentage point lead over Trump with about a week left before Election Day.

October 2020 Kalikow School Poll at Hofstra University


The poll by Hofstra University’s Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency collected responses from 2,000 likely voters, from Oct. 19-26.

YouGov, a firm specializing in online polling, conducted the poll and oversampled voters from the suburbs.

The poll shows Biden leading Trump by a margin of 53.9% to 42.5%, with 3.7% supporting "someone else."

Suburban voters prefer Biden over Trump by 51% to 44.7%.

The poll showed little movement in the race since the previous Kalikow Poll, released Sept. 29.

Among voters nationwide, Biden led Trump by a margin of 53.2% to 41.9% in the September survey.

Biden's lead among suburban voters in that poll was 52.3% to 42.8%.


Population density

The poll found suburban voters prefer Biden by 6.3 percentage points.

Source: October 2020 Kalikow School Poll at Hofstra University


Forty-two percent of voters surveyed in the new poll said they had already cast ballots.

Early voters "strongly preferred" Biden, with 69.2% breaking for him, compared with 28.7% who supported Trump. The poll also said Democrats reported "a strong preference" for early voting.

"I see a lot of stability. I don't see a lot of movement," in the survey numbers, said Craig Burnett, a Hofstra political science professor and the Kalikow School Poll program director.

Burnett said that as Election Day nears, "People have decided and the number of persuadable voters out there is pretty low."

There were some differences with past surveys.

In a Kalikow poll in March, 57% of respondents said the country was "headed in the wrong direction," compared with 73.5% who say so now.

Trump’s job approval rating was 49% in March, at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic; now, the figure is 43.8%, according to the poll.

The poll found Biden has significant advantages among some key voter groups.

"Independent" voters favor Biden over Trump by 50.4 percentage points to 41.8 points.

Suburban women prefer Biden by a margin of 54.1% to 43.0%, according to the poll results.

But Biden and Trump are essentially tied among suburban men, with 47.6% preferring Biden and 46.6% backing the president.

Trump leads Biden among rural voters by a significant margin, 53.7% to 43.3%.

Trump also leads Biden by 52.5 percentage points to 42.7 among voters who have not voted yet.

The poll found Biden leads Trump by a margin of 58.1% to 38.1% among college-educated voters, and 49.2% to 47.3% among non-college educated voters.

"Those non-college educated voters were key to Trump’s victory in 2016," said Meena Bose, executive dean of Hofstra’s Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs.


Education level

Biden continues to enjoy a big advantage among college educated (at least a two-year degree) likely voters and a small lead among non-college likely voters, but Trump leads this category in the suburbs.

Source: October 2020 Kalikow School Poll at Hofstra University


Among other findings of the Kalikow Center poll:

  • Among likely voters nationwide, 62.1% believe the U.S. Supreme Court should not be expanded beyond nine members, compared with 37.9% who support expansion.

  • Asked about Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, 22.2% of respondents said she should not have been confirmed by the Senate, and 32.6% said the confirmation vote was "too close" to the Nov. 3 election. However, 45.1% said Barrett should have been confirmed to the court.
  • In an effort to measure political division in the United States, Kalikow polls ask whether voters support secession of their state from the union should their preferred presidential candidate lose the election. In the new poll, 33.6% of voters backed secession, compared with 39.3% in September.

The new poll's margin of error is plus or minus 2.86 percentage points for respondents overall, and 3.69 points for suburban residents.

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