US President Joe Biden holds 4 point lead over Donald Trump

US President Joe Biden has marginally widened his lead over Donald Trump ahead of the November presidential election as the Republican candidate prepares for the start of the first of four upcoming criminal trials, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

Some 41% of registered voters in the five-day poll, which closed on Monday, said they would vote for Biden, a Democrat, if the election were held today, compared with 37% who picked former President Trump. That 4 point lead was up from a 1 point lead Biden held in a Reuters/Ipsos poll in March.

The survey has a 4 percentage point margin of error for registered voters and many voters remain on the fence seven months before the November 5 election.

Some 22% of registered voters in the poll said they had not picked a candidate, were leaning toward third-party options or might not vote at all.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll in March found 16% of respondents would pick Robert Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine activist running as an independent, if he were on the ballot with Trump and Biden. The April poll did not break out Kennedy’s share of support among registered voters.

While nationwide surveys give important signals on American support for political candidates, just a handful of competitive states typically tilt the balance in the US electoral college, which ultimately decides who wins a presidential election.

Both candidates carry significant liabilities ahead of what is expected to be a close race and the first US presidential election rematch in nearly 70 years.  Trump is due to appear in a Manhattan courtroom on April 15 for the start of the first of four pending criminal trials.

The trial in Manhattan involves accusations Trump covered up a payment to an adult film actress before the 2016 presidential election in exchange for the actress’ silence about an alleged sexual encounter she had with Trump.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll also found a firm majority of Americans considered the charges to be serious. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges and denies any such encounter.

The other trials involve charges Trump tried to overturn his 2020 election defeat or that he mishandled sensitive documents after leaving the presidency in 2021. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Biden’s liabilities include concerns about his age – 81 – as well as strong criticism from a slice of his Democratic Party over his support of Israel’s war on Hamas militants.

The poll, which surveyed adults nationwide, included many ways to measure support for Biden and Trump, 77, and most pointed to a close race.

Biden had a smaller lead – just 1 percentage point – among all respondents, but his lead among registered voters was significant because people who are already registered to vote are more likely to do so in November.

Only two-thirds of eligible voters turned out in the 2020 presidential election in which Biden defeated Trump. Trump led among respondents without a college degree while Biden led among those who had one.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll included responses from 833 registered voters who were surveyed online nationwide. It had a margin of error of about 4% for registered voters.

Source: eNCA

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