Trump Takes Commanding Lead in Post-Debate Polls

By Jonathan Draeger
Published On: Last updated 07/02/2024, 06:30 PM EDT

Last week’s presidential debate did not go well for President Biden. After the June 27 debate, CNN reported that 67% of viewers thought former President Trump won. In the aftermath, many, including the New York Times Editorial Board, have suggested that Biden should consider leaving the 2024 presidential race.

Post-debate polls show that Biden’s support is falling. Since March, the race has been close nationally, with Trump holding a consistent but narrow lead in the RealClearPolitics Polling Average. However, since the debate, polls indicate that Trump has taken a commanding lead.

Of the seven national polls conducted since the debate, six had Trump ahead. The latest poll, released Tuesday by CNN, surveyed 1,045 respondents from June 28-30 and showed Trump leading by six points. In the six-way race, Trump maintained a six-point lead, 41% to 35%, with independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at 14%, independent candidate Cornel West at 2%, Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 3%, and Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver at 1%.

The largest post-debate poll was from Morning Consult, which surveyed 10,679 registered voters from June 28-30 and showed Trump leading by one point, 44% to 43%, in a head-to-head matchup. Morning Consult also conducted a poll of 2,068 registered voters on June 28, the day after the debate, which, in contrast, had Biden leading by one point, 45% to 44%.

Other national post-debate polls include Harvard-Harris, which showed Trump ahead by four points in a head-to-head race and by eight points in a five-way race. Additionally, Trump was ahead in SurveyUSA by two points, Data for Progress by three points, and USA Today/Suffolk by three points in a five-way race.

The current RCP Average for the head-to-head race shows Trump up by 2.7 points and by 3.8 points in the five-way race. Given the limited number of post-debate polls, the RCP Averages still include pre-debate polls. Averaging the polls conducted exclusively since the debate, Trump is ahead by 2.5 points in the head-to-head race and by 5.6 points in the five-way race. One week before the debate, on June 20, Trump’s lead was 0.9 points in the head-to-head RCP Average and 1.6 points in the five-way race, indicating a significant shift in the national polling landscape.

The shift following the debate is also more pronounced than the effect of Trump’s conviction on the race. The week before Trump’s May 30 conviction, he led by around .8-1 point in the RCP Average. A week after the conviction, on June 6, Trump’s lead fell to 0.5 points but rebounded to around a one-point lead by mid-June, indicating minimal impact from the conviction. In contrast, if current polling trends continue, Trump will have added at least 1.5 to two points to his lead following the debate. 

Trump’s post-debate lead is also evident in state polls. A Saint Anselm College poll in New Hampshire, conducted from June 28-29 with 1,700 registered voters, found Trump with a two-point lead in the state, 44% to 42%. A previous University of New Hampshire poll, conducted from May 16-20 with 1,140 likely voters, had Biden up by four points, 52% to 48%. In 2020, Biden won the state by 7.2 points.

Cygnal conducted a poll in Pennsylvania from June 27-28, the day of and the day after the debate, among 800 likely voters, finding Trump with a four-point lead in both the head-to-head and five-way races. This is about one point better than the pre-debate Pennsylvania RCP Average, which had Trump up by 2.8 points, and five points better than his 2020 loss to Biden in the state by 1.2 points.

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