Donald Trump had a devastating weekend in polling at the national level, the state level, and on the issues—much of it fueled by his off-the-rails debate performance and his abysmal handling of the coronavirus.
At the national level, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday showed Joe Biden with a commanding 14-point lead among registered voters, a jump from Biden's pre-debate eight-point advantage in September. But the demographic shift of older voters toward Biden was perhaps the most notable part of the poll.
UPDATE: New NYT/Siena poll of Arizona out Monday shows Biden up 8 points, 49%-41%. That’s very stable, with the same poll last month showing Biden up 9 points. Democrat Mark Kelly’s lead over GOP Sen. Martha McSally is at 50% — 39%, a 3-point bump since September.
The poll, taken in the two days following Trump's bellicose meltdown at the debate Tuesday, found voters 65 and older backing Biden by a 27-point margin, 62-35%. Trump won that demographic by seven points in 2016 according to exit polls, and Biden was only winning it by four points before the debate, according to MSNBC. NBC also notes: "Men 50 years and older moved to a 1-point advantage for Biden in the latest poll, compared to a 13-point advantage for Trump in the pre-debate NBC News/WSJ poll.”
MSNBC further reports that Trump’s lead among white non-college voters also softened, going from a pre-debate 23-point advantage for Trump to a post-debate 14-point advantage for him. Trump won that bloc by 37 points in ‘16, according to exit polling.
The debate has played poorly for Trump in every post-debate poll, without exception. Not only did the NBC/WSJ poll find that a 49% plurality of voters thought Biden won the debate, 19% of voters said it made them more likely to support Biden versus just 6% who said they're now more likely to back Trump.
The New York Times added that voters in the critical states of Pennsylvania and Florida were "repelled" by Trump's debate performance in polling released Saturday by the Times and Siena College. That polling, taken Sept. 30-Oct. 1 and 2, showed Biden leading Trump by seven points among likely voters in Pennsylvania and by five points among likely voters in Florida. In the polling, just 22% of likely voters across both states said Trump won the debate, with 65% disapproving of his conduct.
"The revulsion against Mr. Trump’s performance extended well into his reliable base. One-third of the president’s supporters said they disapproved of his performance, including 11 percent who did so strongly," writes the Times. Just 8% of Trump supporters said the debate made them less likely to back him. But in the larger scheme of things, any single point Trump loses matters since he's shedding support among so many important demographics.
Finally, an ABC News/Ipsos poll taken Friday and Saturday—after news broke of Trump testing positive for COVID-19—found that nearly three-quarters of Americans say Trump didn't take the coronavirus seriously enough. On two separate questions, 72% said Trump didn't take "the risk of contracting the virus seriously enough" and 72% said he didn't take "the appropriate precautions" to protect his personal health.
Another interesting tidbit: 81% of Americans are now very/somewhat concerned about becoming infected, a nine-point jump from the 72% who said the same two weeks ago. That spike in alarm came almost entirely from Republicans, whose concern rose 18 points in the two-week window.