WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democratic challenger Joe Biden has his largest lead yet over President Donald Trump, according to the presidential polling tracker from the University of Southern California.
Statistics posted for October 12 show Biden with a lead of nearly 13 points over Trump. According to Nate Cohn of the New York Times, this marks the former vice president’s largest lead to date.
The numbers are somewhat in line with Real Clear Politics’ polling average that shows Biden with a 10-point lead over Trump. A weekend poll from ABC and the Washington Post gave Biden a 12-point advantage over the incumbent.
While Biden has had a lead in much of the polling done in 2020, he had small, single-digit leads in the early part of the year.
So what went wrong? According to the Associated Press, there are a number of issues plaguing the president’s campaign.
The suburbs are not likely coming back, his struggle with older voters is real and, privately, some allies worry that Trump’s personal health challenges may have depressed his base’s enthusiasm. At the same time, coronavirus infections are again surging in several states.
Trump’s travel schedule this week underscores his political standing. He started in Florida, a state without which he almost certainly cannot win a second term, and he is scheduled to appear in Iowa on Wednesday, devoting one of the few days that remain to a state he won by nearly 10 percentage points four years ago.
Despite the best efforts of the Republican Party for the last year, this election is set to be a referendum on Trump’s divisive leadership.
According to political experts, the president has an opportunity to turn his own health challenge into a political asset if he can demonstrate real empathy for a nation still struggling through the worst health crisis in a century.
Speaking at the White House over the weekend, he acknowledged that he had been on the brink of “bad things” from the virus and claimed that his illness gave him a better understanding of it. There were bandages visible on his hands, likely from an intravenous injection.
However, the humanizing details came before Trump spread more false information about the pandemic, declaring that it was “disappearing” even as infections soar in several states and several members of his own administration are infected.
Worth noting: There are still 21 days before November 3 — plenty of time for another major October surprise.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.