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Biden leads Trump 50% to 36% in latest nationwide poll

Washington

JOE BIDEN leads President Donald Trump 50 per cent to 36 per cent in a new nationwide poll on Wednesday, the latest alarm bell for the president's campaign as the economy, coronavirus and Black Lives Matter protests continue to weigh on his re-election bid.

The 14-point difference in the New York Times/Siena College poll matches the largest margin Mr Biden has seen this year, and it shows the presumptive Democratic nominee leading or making inroads among a broad cross-section of demographic groups.

Amid a campaign schedule curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, the former vice president is ahead by 14 points among women, but also 3 points among men. He's ahead or effectively tied in every age and ethnic group, and he leads by 21 points among independent voters.

Mr Trump's only dependable lead comes from registered Republicans and from the one demographic group that gave him an advantage in industrial battleground states in 2016: white, non-college educated voters. He leads Biden among that cohort by 19 points.

Trump's 50 per cent approval rating on economic issues continues to be a bright spot. Only 39 per cent approve of his handling of criminal justice, 38 per cent on the coronavirus, 33 per cent on race relations and 29 per cent on the nationwide protests after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

Mr Trump has responded to the protests by ordering federal troops to guard the White House and celebrating the "Great American Heritage" of statues and military bases commemorating Confederate generals.

His attempt to reboot his campaign with a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was met with sparse crowds and controversy when he said he ordered officials to slow coronavirus testing because it was showing increased infection numbers.

Mr Biden, meanwhile, has been largely confined to the immediate vicinity of his Delaware home, conducting fundraisers and campaign events online. A Tuesday fundraiser with former President Barack Obama raised US$11 million.

Mr Biden's 14-point advantage is the same lead registered in a CNN poll earlier this month that caused an angry Trump campaign to demand the cable channel retract its findings. The Times sample contained 26 per cent Republicans, which is consistent with the findings of similar telephone polls; the Trump campaign says pollsters should assume the same 33 per cent representation found in 2016 exit polls.

The addition of the New York Times poll pushed Biden's lead in the FiveThirtyEight average of polls to over 10 percentage points for the first time. BLOOMBERG

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