US election polls tracker: Will Donald Trump or Joe Biden win 2020 presidency?

Democratic challenger Joe Biden is currently leading Donald Trump in the national polls as the US approaches its 2020 presidential election.

Currently, the 10-poll average indicates that just over half of Americans intend to back Joe Biden while Mr Trump’s support trails this by around five or six points.

Americans will vote on Tuesday 3 November 2020 in order to elect their next President, either giving Mr Trump another four years or handing over the keys to the White House to Mr Biden.

However, on 2 October 2020 the President was taken to hospital with Covid-19. Though the President now appears to have recovered, it is unclear what effect, if any, this will have on the presidential race.

Mr Trump’s age, gender and weight put him into a relatively high-risk category for the virus’s worst effects. His recuperation will hamper his ability to hold the mass rallies that fire up by his most loyal supporters.

On the other hand, the first world leader to test positive for Covid-19, Boris Johnson, saw a remarkable increase in his personal approval rating during his illness. YouGov polling just after he left hospital saw his net approval as Prime Minister go from 4 per cent to 40 per cent, as the British public sympathised with his plight.

Mr Trump triumphed in 2016 despite losing the popular vote, so it is still far too early to say who will win the White House later this year. 

Trump and Biden to clash in debates

Donald Trump and Joe Biden faced each other in the first presidential debate in September.

In a bad-tempered and at times chaotic debate, the candidates ripped chunks out of each other on their records and issues such as the economy and race.

Mr Trump was rebuked several times by Chris Wallace, the moderator, for speaking over his opponent. At one point, after incessant interruptions from the president, Mr Biden said: “Will you shut up, man?”

Presidential debates are a political version of gladiatorial combat and they have, in the past, turned elections.

There are three debates before each election. The first debate in 2016 was watched by a record 84 million people on TV.

That doesn’t include the millions who watched on Facebook, YouTube, and other online venues, or at parties and bars.

For many it was the only time they listened to the candidates speak at length.

Four years ago the polls showed it was reasonably close between Mr Trump and Hillary Clinton with neither delivering a knockout blow. This time Mr Trump sees a chance to obliterate his deficit in the polls in a single evening.

Meanwhile both Mr Trump’s and Mr Biden’s running mates – Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris – clashed in their own vice presidential debate on Wednesday night, with the focus dominated by the Trump Administration’s Covid-19 response. 

Read more: Vice-presidential debate analysis

What happened in the town halls?

After the second presidential debate was cancelled, the two candidates appeared in separate live town halls that were broadcast at the same time.

Mr Trump dominated the headlines after he refused to denounce the QAnon conspiracy theory, which falsely claims the US government is controlled by a “deep state” cabal of anti-Trump Satanist paedophiles. He said: “So, I know nothing about QAnon. I know very little. What I do hear about it, they are very strongly against paedophilia. I do agree with that.”

The president was questioned over his decision to retweet a false conspiracy theory, from a QAnon-linked Twitter account, suggesting that Navy Seals killed a body double of Osama bin Laden, and that the Obama administration covered it up. Mr Trump said he was just “putting it out there” and “people can decide for themselves”.

Mr Trump also denied that he was told in the Oval Office, by his national security adviser in January, that the coronavirus would be the biggest national security threat of his presidency.

In Philadelphia, Mr Biden said: “We’re in a situation where we have 210,000 plus people dead and what’s he doing? Nothing. He’s still not wearing masks.”

Mr Biden put on his mask when leaving the stage to be closer to questioners.

Trump approval static at around 40 per cent

Donald Trump’s presidential approval ratings are at steady levels, according to the Telegraph’s poll tracker.

The tracker, which takes an average of the last eight polls, put Mr Trump’s approval rating at around 44 per cent, while 54 per cent disapprove of the way the President is doing his job.

The President’s approval ratings had recovered slightly recently, after experiencing a “rally around the flag” effect with Americans backing the Government to handle the coronavirus crisis.

The period since Donald Trump’s election has been packed with controversy and intrigue but, underneath it all, few people seem to have really changed their minds about America’s 45th President.

His approval rating quickly slumped in the chaotic days after assuming office, with Trump achieving a majority disapproval rating in a record of just eight days. Three years in, he is far less popular than previous presidents at this stage of a presidency – but overall approval has generally remained above 40 per cent.

Still, with the President having defied political gravity four years ago, the jury’s out as to whether he can do the same again against his new Democrat opponent.

Read more: Big money and the US election: meet the tech bosses, financiers and politicians holding the reins

Read more: Donald Trump vs Joe Biden: How the Republican and Democratic policies compare

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