Steady National Lead for Biden as United States Election Nears

The main influences for American likely voters are party platforms, discussions with family and discussions with friends.

Vancouver, BC [October 21, 2020] – Joe Biden stands to capture a majority of the national vote in this year’s presidential election in the United States, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of likely voters, 53% of decided voters would cast a ballot for the Democratic Party nominee or have already done so, while 45% would support Republican Party incumbent Donald Trump.

Support for both Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian Party and Howie Hawkins of the Green Party remains at 1%.

The popular vote forecast is practically unchanged since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in September.

Biden holds 19-point leads over Trump among female decided voters (57% to 38%) and decided voters aged 18-to-34 (58% to 37%). The race is closer among male decided voters (50% to 48%), decided voters aged 35-to-54 (51% to 46%) and decided voters aged 55 and over (52% to 47%).

White decide voters are evenly split among the two main candidates(48% for Biden, 48% for Trump), while the level of support for the Democratic nominee is higher with Hispanic / Latino decided voters (58%) and African American decided voters (92%).

Across the country, 11% of decided voters who supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election are voting for Biden this year. Only 3% of decided voters who backed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 are casting a ballot for Trump in 2020.

Almost two-in-five likely voters in the United States (39%) say their primary motivation when selecting who to back in the presidential election is the candidate’s ideas and policies, followed by the candidate’s political party (20%), a desire for stability (15%), disgust with other candidates (14%) and a desire for change (13%).

More than half of likely voters believe Biden is the best candidate to handle five issues: the environment (54%), race relations (53%), health care (52%), education (51%) and COVID-19 (also 51%).

The former Vice President holds the upper hand over the current President on nine other topics: government accountability (Biden 49%, Trump 34%), foreign policy (Biden 48%, Trump 38%), immigration (Biden 48%, Trump 38%), job creation (Biden 47%, Trump 41%), crime (Biden 46%, Trump 37%), the economy (Biden 45%, Trump 42%), managing the deficit (Biden 44%, Trump 35%), energy and oil (Biden 44%, Trump 39%) and national defense (Biden 44%, Trump 42%). 

Almost two thirds of likely voters in the United States (64%) say party platforms are “very influential” or “moderately influential” in their decision to support candidates in this year’s election, while 51% mention discussions with family and 48% mention cite discussions with friends.

Fewer American likely voters are swayed by endorsements from non-governmental organizations (44%), campaign ads on radio and television (43%), endorsements from unions (40%), endorsements from trade associations (39%), interaction with candidates on social media (also 39%), interaction with other people on social media (38%) and endorsements from newspapers (also 38%).

“More than half of Republican likely voters (54%) say campaign ads on radio and television are influential in their decision to support candidates,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion is lower among Democrats (45%) and Independents (28%).”

Sizeable majorities of American likely voters express confidence in the people responsible for conducting elections in their state being able to oversee the entire process (83%), enforce social distancing at polling stations (82%) and ensure that there is no fraudulent activity with mailed ballots (78%).

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 16 to October 18, 2020, among 1,035 likely voters in the United States and 973 decided voters in the 2020 presidential election. The data has been statistically weighted according to U.S. census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.0 percentage points for likely voters and +/- 3.1 percentage points for decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and here and download the press release here.

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.