Who Is Leading Presidential Polls

Topline

National polls between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have tightened, with Trump now leading Biden by only one percentage point, according to the latest RealClearPolitics polling average—his smallest lead since January amid a Democratic momentum gain that included a historic fundraising haul this week.

Key Facts

Trump leads Biden 46.5% to 45.5%, per the latest average—the last time they were that close was Jan. 12.

Biden has been gaining ground in recent polls—he held a slight lead in a Quinnipiac poll this week, and the monthly Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll out this week showed Biden gaining ground in six swing states, pulling into ties in Michigan and Pennsylvania and gaining a slight edge in Wisconsin, in what the pollsters said was his best performance yet.

At least eight national surveys taken in March show Biden leading Trump, including a Mainstreet Research/Florida Atlantic University poll and a Reuters/Ipsos survey—though Trump still led in a majority of polls taken this month.

The stronger numbers come amid some shifts in strategy from the Biden campaign—recently, the campaign has attempted to woo supporters of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley following her exit from the GOP race, launching a new ad that pointed to Trump’s criticisms of Haley and her supporters.

A February Quinnipiac poll showed 49% of Republican-leaning Haley voters would vote for Trump, compared to 37% in favor of Biden.

Key Background

Biden’s strong polling follows his March 7 State of the Union speech, which surpassed pundits’ expectations and supporters have argued boosted his image. Biden is also leading Trump in fundraising—and that was before a major fundraising event in New York City on Thursday where Biden appeared alongside former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. That fundraiser reportedly raised $25 million, featuring 5,000 guests at Radio City Music Hall and musical performances from Lizzo, Queen Latifah and others. The campaign has touted the event as the “most successful political fundraiser in history,” with First Lady Jill Biden claiming it was the “biggest fundraiser the DNC has ever held.”

Crucial Quote

“Way too close to call on the head-to-head and even closer when third party candidates are counted,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Molloy said in response to this week’s Quinnipiac poll. Other pollsters shared that opinion, with Emerson pollster Spencer Kimball telling USA Today the “election is a toss-up at this stage.”

Contra

Trump spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt pushed back on the polling trends in a statement to USA Today, claiming: “There are more than 100 polls showing President Trump crushing Joe Biden, including recent polling that has him leading in every key battleground state and winning independents by double digits.” While recent polls show signs of improvement for Biden, he’s still underperforming where he was this time in 2020, according to NBC. And while the Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll showed Biden improving in swing states, Trump still has an edge in most of them, leading by five points in Arizona, seven points in Georgia, two in Nevada and six in North Carolina, according to the poll.

Tangent

Biden has also been trying to flip the script on one of his critics’ biggest lines of attack—his age and stamina. He joked about it at this week’s fundraising event, speaking about Trump’s policies but adding that Trump’s ideas were “a little old and out of shape.” On X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday, Biden shared a video comparing his busy campaign schedule against videos of Trump golfing, claiming: “There’s a difference between the two candidates this election.”

Further Reading

MORE FROM FORBESBiden Ad Courts Nikki Haley Voters-Even As Her Big-Name Donors Coalesce Behind Trump
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