The week in polls: Trump trails in 10 of 11 swing states, plurality says Biden won 1st debate

William Cummings, USA TODAY
·6 min read

Last week, one of the most chaotic and belligerent presidential debates in U.S. history was overshadowed in little more than 48 hours by the news that President Donald Trump had tested positive for COVID-19.

With all that going on, it's understandable if you missed the flood of polls that are still rolling in on the state of the race between Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.

USA TODAY is here to help. Each week, we look at look the cumulative seven-days worth of polls, so you don't have to and give you the gist of what they showed.

First, we look at the USA TODAY average of averages, which is based on the national averages compiled by polling sites RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight, and see how the race has shifted from the week before. Next, we look at the average polling data on key swing states. Then, we look at the latest polls on tight Senate races. Finally, we look at any interesting outliers, voter stances on important issues and any other pieces of data that jump out.

Many of the polls in the past week were conducted wholly or partially before the presidential debate and few were completed after Trump's announcement that he had contracted COVID-19.

Last week: Biden gains on Trump nationally, leads in most swing states

National average

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 50.8%, Trump 42.7% (Biden +8.1)

Last week: Biden 50.1%, Trump 42.9% (Biden +7.2)

Net change: Biden +0.9

  • RCP: Biden 50.7%, Trump 42.4%

  • FiveThirtyEight: Biden 50.8%, Trump 42.8%

Swing state averages

Arizona: Biden +3.3

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 48.6%, Trump 45.3%

Last week: Biden 48.4%, Trump 44.8%

Net change: Trump +0.3

Florida: Biden +2.4

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 47.9%, Trump 45.5%

Last week: Biden 48.4%, Trump 46.8%

Net change: Biden +0.8

Georgia: Biden +0.5

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 47.0%, Trump 46.5%

Last week: Trump 46.8%, Biden 45.6%

Net change: Biden +1.7

Michigan: Biden +5.9

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 49.7%, Trump 43.8%

Last week: Biden 49.6%, Trump 43.5%

Net change: Trump +0.2

Minnesota: Biden +8.8

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 50.3%, Trump 41.5%

Last week: Biden 50.6%, Trump 41.5%

Net change: Trump +0.3

Nevada: Biden +5.7

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 49.2%, Trump 43.5%

Last week: Biden 48.9%, Trump 43.0%

Net change: Trump +0.2

North Carolina: Biden +1.0

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 47.5%, Trump 46.5%

Last week: Biden 47.3%, Trump 46.3%

Net change: 0.0

Ohio: Biden +1.5

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 48.1%, Trump 46.6%

Last week: Biden 48.5%, Trump 46.3%

Net change: Trump +0.7

Pennsylvania: Biden +6.2

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 50.4%, Trump 44.2%

Last week: Biden 49.4%, Trump 44.6%

Net change: Biden +1.4

Texas: Trump +2.8

USA TODAY average of averages: Trump 48.3%, Biden 45.5%

Last week: Trump 47.9%, Biden 45.2%

Net change: Trump +0.1

Wisconsin: Biden +6.1

USA TODAY average of averages: Biden 50.2%, Trump 44.1%

Last week: Biden 50.7%, Trump 43.8%

Net change: Trump +0.8

Senate races

Arizona: McSally vs. Kelly

A Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network poll found Democrat Mark Kelly with a commanding lead over Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., suggesting Democrats in the state could sweep the top two races for the first time since 1944, as the poll also found Biden with a 4-point lead over Trump.

Kelly led McSally by 9 percentage points.

North Carolina: Tillis vs. Cunningham

A poll from the University of Massachusetts Lowell released Tuesday found Sen. Thom Tillis trailing his Democratic opponent, Cal Cunningham, 49%-43%, among likely voters.

That poll was conducted before Cunningham admitted he had sent text messages of a sexual nature to a woman who is not his wife. It was also done before Tillis revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19.

South Carolina: Graham vs. Harrison

Polls continue to find Sen. Lindsey Graham in a tough fight for a fourth Senate term against his Democtaic challenger Jaime Harrison.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found the two candidates even with each enjoying the support of 48% of likely voters.

Poll-pourri

Who won the debate?

Forty-nine percent of registered voters said Biden did a better job at Tuesday’s debate compared to 24% who said Trump performed better, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found – one of the few surveys released this week that was wholly conducted after the debate. Seventeen percent didn't think either candidate did better than the other.

Overall, 73% of those polled said the debates would have no influence on how they’d vote.

A New York Times/Siena College poll conducted after the debate found 64% of likely Florida voters at least somewhat disapproved of the way Trump conducted himself during the debate, compared to the 39% of voters who disapproved of Biden’s performance.

Nealry two-thirds say Trump could have avoided infection

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Sunday found 65% – including 9 in 10 registered Democrats and 5 in 10 registered Republicans – believed if Trump "had taken coronavirus more seriously, he probably would not have been infected." Just over a third of Americans said Trump has been telling the country the truth about the pandemic, while 55% did not.

Overall, 57% of Americans disapproved of how Trump has handled the coronavirus outbreak.

The Trump campaign announced Saturday it planned to resume in-person campaigning, despite Trump's condition. But more than two-thirds (67%) of Americans said the candidates should stop in-person campaigning because of the risk of spreading the virus.

Half disapprove of Trump's handling of race

According to a survey from the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project, 56% of Americans disapprove of the president's handling of race – a six-percentage point increase from February,

When broken down by race and ethnicity, Black (72%), Latino (68%), and Asian and Pacific Islander (68%) Americans are much more likely than white Americans (48%) to disapprove of the president's handling of race, though white Americans disapproval is up 5 percentage points since February.

Contributing: Rebecca Morin, Matthew Brown, Sarah Elbeshbishi, Frank Witsil and Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY; Ronald J. Hansen, Arizona Republic

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump trails in 10 of 11 swing states after debate: The week in polls