President Trump’s biggest advantage of Democratic rival Joe Biden in the 2020 election — his handling of the economy — appears to have evaporated with less than a month to go before the November elections.
Several recent polls show the president’s edge has narrowed or disappeared entirely, potentially making it harder for Trump to come from behind and beat Biden. The former vice president has widened his lead in the polls after the first presidential debate.
Read: Consumer confidence surges to highest level of coronavirus era
The latest CNN poll shows that 49% of registered voters think Trump would do a better job on the economy vs. 49% who say Biden would handle it better. See CNN poll
Just two months ago, Trump held an 8-point advantage over Biden in the CNN poll. He had an even larger 12-point advantage in May, when the government approved a multi-trillion dollar economic-rescue plan.
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The one issue voters broadly preferred Trump over Biden was on the economy — until this latest CNN poll. People remembered the economy was roaring pre-Covid, and CARES1 had them thinking it could again. But as CARES $ has dried up, so has Trump’s marks on the economy.
— Tony Fratto (@TonyFratto) October 7, 2020
An Economist/YouGov poll found similar erosion. Only 48% of voters approved of Trump’s handling of the economy while 48% disapproved.
For most of the past year, Trump’s approval rating on the economy has hovered about 50%. Yet his standing seems to have suffered after a divided Congress failed in July to approve more federal aid for the unemployed, small businesses and large industries such as airlines that have been especially hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.
Read: U.S. adds 661,000 jobs in September and unemployment rate falls to 7.9%
Late Tuesday night, Trump suddenly tweeted he would sign a “stand alone bill” providing a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks for eligible American families if Congress agreed. He also offered $25 billion for airlines and $135 for small businesses.
Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
Yet just hours earlier, he had said he would end talks with Democrats on another financial aid package until after the election, accusing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her party of negotiating in bad faith.
One poll by the Wall Street Journal/NBC still showed Trump with an edge on the economy, but his advantage was the smallest since April at just 48% to 41%. The poll showed Biden leading Trump in his handling of most other issues.