First post convention polling has Biden retaining his clear lead but no signs of a bounce

First post convention polling has Biden retaining his clear lead but no signs of a bounce

Generally speaking in previous White House races the big party conventions have been the trigger for significant moves in the polling. This year because of the pandemic the conventions are virtual and all eyes are on the the first full surveys to come out following the Democratic party event which finished on Thursday night.

So far there is only one new poll carried out totally after the convention and that has Biden with a 9% lead rather than an 8% one – so all fully within the margin of error. The Republicans “meet” next week and will be getting the same level of coverage from the networks that the Democrats have enjoyed. Trump’s plan is to give his “acceptance” speech from the White House itself which is causing some controversy.

One thing we must be clear about is that national US polls become less good indicators as we get closer to polling day. A better guide is what is happening in a handful of key states that have the potential to swing and certainly we can expect a lot more attention on Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin particularly. These were the three states that effectively gave Trump his victory at GE2016.

A feature of this election is the now sizeable number of previous prominent Republicans who have stuck their next out and said they are voting against Trump on November 3rd. Several of these figures were given prominent slots at the Democratic convention and look likely to help Biden do better with independent voters than Hillary Clinton did four years ago.

The more that Trump looks like losing than the more you can see prominent GOP figures not wanting to be associated with the incumbent. If he starts to record a bit in the polling then we should except fewer Republican figures to go public against him.

Mike Smithson

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