Biden leads Trump by 10 points in final pre-election NBC News/WSJ poll

Mark Murray

WASHINGTON — Democrat Joe Biden maintains his double-digit national lead over Republican President Donald Trump in the final national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll before the presidential election, with 6 in 10 voters saying the country is on the wrong track and with a majority disapproving of Trump's handling of the coronavirus.

Biden is ahead of Trump nationally by 10 points among registered voters, 52 percent to 42 percent, in what has been a remarkably stable race over a tumultuous year in American politics.

Biden's lead was 11 points in the NBC News/WSJ poll two weeks ago, 53 percent to 42 percent.

"This is the 11th survey we've done in 2020, and so little has changed," said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.

Still, McInturff cautioned that Trump has the ability to overperform on Election Day.

Of the 68 percent of voters who say they have already voted or plan to vote early, Biden is ahead by 61 percent to 35 percent.

But among the 28 percent of voters who say they're voting on Election Day, Trump leads by 61 percent to 32 percent.

"This is the most competitive election I could imagine if you're down 10 points nationally," McInturff said.

Biden's biggest advantages over Trump are among Black voters (87 percent to 5 percent), young voters ages 18-34 (60 percent to 32 percent), seniors (58 percent to 35 percent), women (57 percent to 37 percent), whites with college degrees (56 percent to 41 percent) and independents (51 percent to 36 percent).

Trump holds the edge among white voters (51 percent to 45 percent) and whites without college degrees (58 percent to 37 percent).

And he leads among by men by just 1 point (48 percent to 47 percent).

In 12 combined battleground states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — Biden is ahead of Trump by 6 points, 51 percent to 45 percent.

A majority of national voters — 51 percent — say there's no chance they would support Trump, while 40 percent say the same of Biden.

A majority disapproves of Trump's job

The final NBC News/WSJ poll before the election also finds 45 percent of voters approving of Trump's job performance, while 52 percent disapprove.

Two weeks ago, it was 44 percent approve, 54 percent disapprove.

"Over the course of his term, there have been 41 NBC/WSJ polls that have measured Donald Trump's performance as president," said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt, who helped conduct the survey. "In those 41 polls, there was not a single poll that produced a result where more Americans approved than disapproved of his performance as president."

And only 40 percent approve of Trump's handling of the coronavirus, while 57 percent disapprove — almost identical to what the last poll showed.

That contrasts with the 55 percent of voters who approve of Trump's handling of the economy, which is one of the few bright spots for the president in the poll.

Forty-three percent of voters view Trump favorably, versus 52 percent who see the president in a negative light (-9). By comparison, 45 percent view Biden favorably, versus 42 percent who have negative impressions (+3).

60 percent say country is on the wrong track

What's more, the poll shows that 60 percent of voters say the country is headed in the wrong direction, while 31 percent say it's on the right track.

Regarding the coronavirus, only 25 percent of voters say the worst is behind us, compared with 55 percent who say the worst is yet to come. Fifteen percent say the coronavirus isn't a major problem.

And a combined 69 percent say the coronavirus has changed their family's lives in either "very major" or "fairly major" ways. That's compared to 31 percent who say the virus has changed their lives in only small ways or not at all.

Democrats hold 5-point lead in congressional preference

Finally, the NBC News/WSJ poll finds that 48 percent of registered voters say they prefer Democrats to be in charge of Congress, while 43 percent say they want a Republican-controlled Congress.

The slight Democratic advantage is unchanged from August, when Democrats held an identical 5-point lead on this question, 47 percent to 42 percent.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, conducted Oct. 29-31 of 1,000 registered voters — more than half reached by cellphone — has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.