The New York Times / Siena College National Poll: Biden Leads Trump 50-41%

trump biden
  • Biden Leads Trump 50-41%, Unmoved from 49-41% Last Month
  • Nearly 1/3 Have Already Voted; Far More Dems & Inds than Reps
  • Plurality Say They Are Better Off Now than They Were Four Years Ago, but Majority Say the Country is Worse Off Today than It Was; Majority Also Say Worst of Pandemic is Still to Come
  • Strong Support for $2T Stimulus Package & $2T Renewable Energy Plan; Majority Support ACA; Fracking & Increased Corporate Tax Rate Get Mixed Reviews; Strong Opposition to Vaccine Mandate & Increasing Size of SCOTUS

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. Two weeks until election day, former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead President Donald Trump in the national popular vote, currently 50-41 percent, virtually unchanged from 49-41 percent in September. A majority of voters still view Biden favorably, and a majority also still view Trump unfavorably, according to The New York Times/Siena College poll of likely voters released today.

Nearly one-third of likely voters, 31 percent, have already voted, including 38 percent of Democrats, 34 percent of independents and 20 percent of Republicans.

nat table comp

“When we look at the presidential race nationally – not battleground states and the Electoral College – it is clear that despite the first presidential debate, a presidential coronavirus diagnosis and hospitalization and many other events, little has changed in the dynamics of the race,” said Dr. Don Levy, Director, Siena College Research Institute. “Biden has a nine-point lead, right at 50 percent, up from eight points last month. He continues to have a positive favorability rating, as Trump’s continues to be negative.

“The gender gap has widened as Biden now leads among women by 23 points, up from 16 points in September, and Trump leads among men by six points, after they were tied last month,” Levy said. “Both candidates continue to have near-universal support among voters from their party, and independents continue to support Biden, currently by nine points.

“Biden leads among Black voters, 90-4 percent, has a 20-point lead with Latinos and trails Trump by six points among white voters. Whites continue to be divided along educational lines, as those with a college degree support Biden 56-37 percent and those without a degree support Trump 59-36 percent,” Levy said.

Trump has a negative 43-54 percent favorability rating, little changed from 44-53 percent last month, and Biden has a 53-43 percent favorability rating, little changed from 52-44 percent last month.

One-Third of Voters Have Already Voted; 38% of Dems, 34% of Inds and 20% of Reps
“Nearly one-third of those likely to vote in the presidential election have already voted. Democrats and independents are much more likely than Republicans to have already voted at this point. Among the remainder of likely voters, half plan to vote in person on election day, one-quarter plan to vote in person before election day and one-quarter plan to vote by mail,” Levy said.

“Among the 31 percent who have already voted, they support Biden by a huge 67-26 percent margin,” Levy said. “The likely voters who have yet to vote, 68 percent, support Trump 48-43 percent.”

Are You Better than You Were 4 Years Ago? Voters Say Yes for Themselves, No for the Country
Forty-nine percent of voters say they are better off today than four years ago, and 32 percent say they’re worse off, while 16 percent volunteered that they were the same. When it comes to the country, 55 percent say the country is worse off today, while 39 percent say America is better off than four years ago.

“Nearly 90 percent of Republicans say they’re better off today than four years ago, as do 47 percent of independents, a plurality. However, 57 percent of Democrats say they’re worse off today and only 20 percent say they’re better off than four years ago,” Levy said. “When it comes to how the country is doing compared to four years ago, 84 percent of Republicans say better, but 55 percent of independents and 91 percent of Democrats say the country is worse off today than it was four years ago.”

Majority: Worst of Pandemic is Still to Come; Support for National Mask Mandate Slips, Still Strong
A majority of voters, 51 percent say the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is still to come, compared to 37 percent who say the worst is over. Voters support a national mask mandate 59-39 percent, down from 67-31 percent last month.

“While two-thirds of Republicans think the worst of the pandemic is over, a plurality of independents, 49 percent, and more than three-quarters of Democrats say the worst is still to come. Men are evenly divided on this question, but women say the worst is still to come, 58-31 percent,” Levy said. “Among those who say the worst is still to come, Biden leads 74-16 percent, while those who think the worst is over support Trump 72-21 percent.

“Two-thirds of Republicans oppose a national mask mandate, while 90 percent of Democrats and a majority of independents support it. Democratic support stayed constant from last month, however, support among independents fell from 69 to 54 percent, and Republican opposition increased from 60-40 percent last month to 68-29 percent, “Levy said. “Women support it 78-20 percent while men are evenly divided.

Sixty-one percent of voters say they would definitely or probably get a COVID-19 vaccine if it were approved by the FDA, compared to 33 percent who would definitely or probably not. By a margin of 63-32 percent, voters oppose a national vaccine mandate.

“A coronavirus vaccine seems to be one of the few issues today that is not divided by partisanship. If the FDA approves a vaccine for COVID-19, 69 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independents and
54 percent of Republicans say they will definitely or probably get the vaccine,” Levy said. “And there’s close to partisan agreement on whether Americans should be mandated to take such a virus. More than three-quarters of Republicans and two-thirds of independents oppose such a mandate. Democrats are evenly divided. There is no demographic group that supports a vaccine mandate.”

Nation is Divide on the Nomination of Barrett to SCOTUS; Strong Opposition to Court Packing
Voters are divided on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court Justice, as 44 percent support and 42 percent oppose. A plurality, 47 percent say the Senate should vote on her nomination prior to the election. By a 58-31 percent margin, voters say Democrats should not increase the size of the Court.

“Republicans overwhelmingly support Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, as do a small plurality of independents. Democrats, however, are overwhelmingly opposed,” Levy said. “And while 57 percent of Democrats think the size of the Supreme Court should be increased if Barrett is confirmed, 65 percent of independents and 89 percent of Republicans say the Court should not include more than nine justices.”

Strong Support for Stimulus Package & Renewable Energy; Toss-Up on Fracking & Corp. Tax Hike

issues table for nat

Odds & Ends from Siena College Poll Director Dr. Don Levy:

  • “On unifying America and handling the pandemic, voters trust Biden more than Trump by double digits. They also trust Biden more on maintaining law and order and choosing new Supreme Court Justices but by smaller margins.”
  • “The economy is a wash as 48 percent say they trust Trump more to do a better job on the economy, and 47 percent say they trust Biden more.”

This New York Times/Siena College survey was conducted October 15-18, 2020 by telephone calls in English and Spanish to 987 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. Calls were made to a stratified weighted sample of voters from the L-2 Voter list via both land and cell phones. The data was weighted by party, age, race/ethnicity, education, region, gender and voter likelihood, a computed score that combines voter history, stated voter likelihood and modeled turnout by respondent. Polling support for this project provided by Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College, M. Davis and Co., Reconnaissance Market Research, and The Public Opinion Research Lab at the University of North Florida. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social, and cultural research. SCRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, please call Don Levy at 518-944-0482. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at: For additional methodological information, click here.