Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by 13 points nationally, but the incumbent is beating his 2016 numbers among African-American and Hispanic voters, according a new poll released by Quinnipiac University on Tuesday.
The poll, which is the first head-to-head matchup conducted by Quinnipiac for the 2020 election cycle, shows Biden at 53 percent and Trump at 40 percent in a hypothetical general election. When broken down by gender, Biden leads Trump (60 percent to 34 percent) comfortably with women, but narrowly within the margin of error among men (47 percent to 46 percent). Caucasian voters are equally split among the two, but with Trump leading with 47 percent to Biden’s 46 percent.
When it comes to African-American and Hispanic voters, however, the poll shows Trump making a marked improvement over his 2016 numbers. Biden leads Trump 85 percent to 12 percent among African-Americans and 58 percent to 33 percent with Hispanics.
In 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton garnered 88 percent of the African-American vote to Trump’s eight percent, as shown by exit polling data. Trump’s share of the African-American vote in that race surprised many because it was larger than the six percent Mitt Romney received in 2012. Some have attempted to downplay Trump’s success with the community by pointing out that overall turnout among African-Americans was lower in 2016 than 2012.
Likewise, the 33 percent Trump registered among Hispanics in the poll is significantly higher than the 28 percent he garnered in 2016—itself an improvement over Romney’s 2012 performance.
Trump posts similar numbers in head-to-head matchups against other 2020 competitors, like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, despite all of them leading him nationally. Of the Democrats included in the poll, Harris is the only one that holds Trump at his 2016 share among African-American voters.
Good news for the president, though, is he leads every single one of the Democrat hopefuls among non-college educated whites. Trump leads Biden, who has centered his presidential campaign on winning back such voters, by ten points (52 percent to 42 percent). Of the other candidates, only Sanders (40 percent) comes closest to Biden’s numbers with the demographic, but still loses to Trump (50 percent).
Such voters made Trump’s path to the White House possible in 2016, even though he ran a three-million popular vote deficit. Although the percent of non-college whites is decreasing nationally, the demographic is still a sizable population in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio—states that guarantee a Trump victory in the electoral college.
“It’s a long 17 months to Election Day, but Joe Biden is ahead by landslide proportions,” said Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Quinnipiac obtained the results by surveying 1,214 voters nationwide from June 6 through June 10. There is a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.
A similar poll conducted by Quinnipiac from May 2015 found Clinton leading Trump (50 percent to 32 percent) in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup.