Donald Trump’s hopes of being re-elected in November appear to have been dealt a major blow after his Democrat challenger Joe Biden opened up a 15% lead in a new national opinion poll.
To make matters worse for the US president, the data suggests voters are losing faith in his handling of the economy, which Mr Trump has long seen as his key to winning a second term.
More than half (52%) of the 1,273 voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University between 9 July and 13 July said they would support Mr Biden in the presidential election, with 37% saying they would back Mr Trump.
The university’s poll last month had the split at a slightly narrower 49% to 41% in Mr Biden’s favour.
On the day the president replaced his campaign manager, it emerged the US public seem to be questioning whether he is the best candidate to manage the economy.
Again, more than half (53%) of those surveyed by Quinnipiac University said they disapproved of his performance on that front – compared to 44% who backed him.
The month before, his efforts were supported by 52% against 45%.
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But there was better news for Mr Trump regarding his handling of the economy in another poll released on Thursday.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal (WSJ) survey found that 54% of registered voters still approved of his work on the economy against 42% who disapprove.
It was all grim reading for Mr Trump in the Quinnipiac poll, however, which also found 60% of voters are unhappy with the overall job the president is doing, against 35% who approve.
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Participants in the Quinnipiac poll said Mr Biden would do a better job on handling the ongoing coronaviruspandemic, health care and racial inequality.
The former vice president also leads his Republican opponent in voters’ eyes on honesty, leadership skills and caring about average Americans.
And in another bad sign for the president, the NBC/WSJ poll also found 57% of voters would rather vote for a candidate who is more focused on controlling the spread of COVID-19, while only 25% would back someone who will focus on reopening businesses.
As his poll numbers have dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Trump has been urging businesses to reopen to get the economy firing again before November’s ballot.
But many state governors have been more cautious and some states, having reopened, have locked down again after experiencing a surge in cases.
More than 137,000 Americans have died after testing positive for COVID-19 and the US comfortably leads the world in confirmed cases with more than 3.5 million, according to figures being tracked by Johns Hopkins University.