Poll: Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 15 points, his widest margin this year

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump among registered voters by his widest margin in 2020, according to a new national poll.

The Quinnipiac University poll, conducted July 9 to 13 and released Wednesday, showed Biden leading Trump 52%-37%, a 15-point margin that increased since last month, when Quinnipiac found 49% of voters favored Biden and 41% favored Trump.

Biden's lead is strong among Democrats, 91% of whom said they would back him and 5% of whom favored Trump, in line with their positions last month. Republicans chose Trump over Biden 84%-9%, a decrease from June when they backed the president 92%-7%. Independents shifted more toward Biden in the last month. Fifty-one percent said they now support Biden while 34% said they are for Trump, and last month 43% were for Biden, while 40% were for Trump.

Cautious optimism for Biden: Polls show Trump is losing to Joe Biden. They said the same thing 4 years ago against Hillary Clinton

"Yes, there's still 16 weeks until Election Day, but this is a very unpleasant real-time look at what the future could be for President Trump. There is no upside, no silver lining, no encouraging trend hidden somewhere in this survey for the president," said Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy.

As the country continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, those surveyed said they thought Biden would do a better job with handling a crisis, health care and the coronavirus response. Voters also said they though Biden would do better handling the economy than Trump, 50%-45%, a reversal from Quinnipiac's poll from June, when Trump had an edge over Biden, 51%-46%.

The president's overall job approval rate also dropped to 36% with 60% disapproving. Last month, it was 42% approving to 55% disapproving. The current net rate is Trump's worst in about three years of Quinnipiac's national polling.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,273 who self-identified as registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Fauci more trusted than Trump, poll shows

On the coronavirus, a 62% majority of voters said that Trump is hurting rather than helping slow the virus' spread. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, is more trusted by voters than the president. Sixty-five percent of respondents to the poll said they trust Fauci's coronavirus information, while 26% said they do not. Thirty percent of respondents said they trust Trump's information on the virus and 67% said they do not.

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The poll results come as some in the White House have launched a series of attacks on Fauci's credibility, including a scathing USA TODAY opinion piece written by trade adviser Peter Navarro, as Trump maintains he has a "very good relationship" with Fauci.

The Trump administration has pushed hard in recent days for the reopening of schools even as experts worry about the potential for spreading the coronavirus if children return to school. Trump has criticized Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on school reopening, and threatened funding for schools if they do not open.

But voters said by more than a two-to-one ratio that they disapprove of Trump's handling of school reopening and don't think it is safe to send children to school in the fall. Sixty-one percent said they disapprove of Trump's handling and 29% said they approve. Sixty-two percent said it is not safe to send children to elementary, middle or high schools while 31% said they think it is safe. The majority of Republicans (60%) think it is safe while Democrats (86%) overwhelmingly think it is unsafe.

Additionally, Trump got a negative 31%-65% approval on race relations as he faces mounting criticism over his response to national protests against racism and police brutality. In the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black man whose neck was pinned down by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, weeks of protests have occurred across the country.

On Tuesday, Trump dismissed a question from a CBS News reporter about why Black people are dying at the hands of police, saying that "more white people" are killed despite studies that show Black people are at higher risk of a fatal police encounter.

Asked who would better handle the issue of racial inequality in the country, 62% said Biden and 30% said Trump.

'What a terrible question to ask': Trump says 'more white people' are killed by police, while studies show Black people are more likely to be killed

Biden also widened his lead in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday that had him up by 11 points against Trump, 51%-40%. Last month, the same survey of registered voters had 49% favoring Biden and 42% supporting Trump.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Poll: Biden leads Trump 52-37 in Quinnipiac poll, widest 2020 margin