Poll of the week: A new CNN/SSRS poll finds that former Vice President Joe Biden is at 57% to President Donald Trump’s 41% among likely voters.
The average of all polls also shows Biden’s advantage expanding into the double-digits following the first presidential debate and Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis.
What’s the point: There can be little doubt that Biden is beating Trump, and that he would be a very heavy favorite to beat the President if the election were being held today. There are multiple reasons why Trump is in such trouble, but chief among them is women.
Biden’s doing so well in the polls because he’s putting up historically strong numbers with women voters. In fact, he’s still losing among men.
An average of the last five live interview polls puts Biden up by 25 points among women voters. That includes a 34-point margin in CNN’s poll released last week.
No candidate of either party in the polling era has ever led among women voters by more than 24 points in the final pre-election polls. This includes the blowout elections of 1964 and 1972, which Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon took by more than 20 points respectively.
Biden’s large lead with women is a major improvement over how Hillary Clinton did with them four years ago. According to the final pre-election polls, Clinton won them by 13 points among likely voters and 14 points among registered voters.
But while Biden has seen a double-digit improvement among women voters compared to Clinton, he hasn’t seen anywhere near the same improvement among men.
Video: Pollster on whether Biden’s big poll lead can be trusted (CNN)
The average of the last five live interview polls gives Trump a 3-point edge with men voters. That largely matches CNN’s poll, which put Trump up by 2 points with men.
Four years ago, Trump led men by 5 among registered voters and 7 among likely voters in the final pre-election polls. In other words, men are largely sticking with the President, even as women voters are running away from him.
View 2020 presidential election polling
The fact that women are moving to the left as men stay mostly stable means that we have an expanding gender gap. The nearly 30-point gender gap right now would be a record for any presidential election in the polling era. The gap was only about 20 points last election.
White women in particular seem to be moving away from Trump in droves. A look at CNN polls taken since Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders left the race in April reveals that Biden has led among White women registered voters by an average of 13 points.
In 2016, Trump averaged a 5 point advantage among White women after Sanders exited that race.
This means that Biden’s doing 18 points better among White women in CNN’s pre-election polls than Clinton did.
Among White men registered voters, the story looks largely the same as in 2016. Trump has been up by an average of 20 points this year compared to 24 points in 2016.
That makes for a more than 30-point gender gap among White voters compared to a 20 point gap in 2016.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Biden’s biggest gains on the electoral map compared to Clinton have been where there are a lot of White women: the Great Lakes region (i.e. the Rust Belt).
Without the disproportionate advances Biden has made with women, he might still be winning at this point, but this election would largely be up for grabs.
Instead, the big shifts among women and White women in particular are putting Biden in a much more comfortable electoral position.
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