Biden Leads Trump by 8 Points in Arizona Poll: Campaign Update

Democratic nominee Joe Biden is now leading in Arizona by a wide margin. The Trump campaign complained that the Biden campaign hasn’t pulled all of its negative ads. And Biden said Monday he’ll debate President Donald Trump again if experts say it’s safe for him to do so.

There are 29 days until the election and 70 days until the Electoral College meets.

Other Developments:

  • Trump Says He’s Leaving Hospital, Americans Shouldn’t Fear Virus
  • Trump Press Secretary McEnany Tests Positive for Coronavirus
  • Trump Campaign Hobbled by Virus as Biden Starts to Pull Away
  • From Bereaved Parents to CEOs: Trump Encounters Spark Covid Fears

Biden Leads Trump by 8 Points in Arizona

Biden leads Trump by 8 percentage points in Arizona, which has gone for a Democratic presidential candidate only once since 1952.

In a New York Times/Siena College poll released Monday, 49% of likely voters back Biden, while 41% support Trump. The findings are essentially unchanged from a mid-September New York Times/Siena College poll.

Still, the results suggest a much wider lead for Biden than some other polls — the former vice president has a 3.1-point lead in the RealClearPolitics average of surveys.

The poll was conducted after the debate and as the president’s coronavirus diagnosis was made public. Biden’s lead over the incumbent is buoyed by women and Hispanic voters. He leads Trump with women by 18 points, while Trump’s lead among men is only 2 points. Hispanic voters, who are projected to compose about a fifth of the state’s electorate, back Biden 65% to 27%.

The poll of 655 likely voters in Arizona was conducted Oct. 1-3. It has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points. — Emma Kinery

Trump Campaign Complains About Biden Ads (12:59 p.m.)

The Biden campaign dramatically cut back on negative ads after the president was diagnosed with coronavirus, but the Trump campaign isn’t happy with the ads that are still running.

After Trump announced he had contracted the coronavirus, the Biden campaign pledged to pull all negative advertising. The Trump campaign complained Monday morning that the Democratic challenger was “still running negative ads.”

According to data from Advertising Analytics, the Biden campaign ran ads drawing contrasts between him and the president 7,125 times while negative ads ran 324 times on Thursday, before the president tweeted that he had the coronavirus. By Sunday, those numbers had fallen to 908 and 17, respectively, while positive ads touting Biden climbed from 2,106 spots on Thursday to 5,053 Sunday.

Some stations can be slow to pull ads in response to requests from campaigns. None of the negative ads that aired over the weekend was being broadcast on Monday as of 6 a.m.

“We think it’s inappropriate to use the president’s illness to score political points on our opponent, which is why we unilaterally took down our negative ads,” said Biden campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo, in response to the Trump team’s complaint.

Some of the pulled ads barely mention Trump. A 60-second spot that ran 290 times on Sunday traces Biden’s views on health insurance, beginning with the car accident that killed his first wife and daughter up through his support for the Affordable Care Act. It includes a seven-second sentence that says Trump supports a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act during a public health crisis. — Gregory Korte and Bill Allison

Biden Says He’ll Debate Trump If Experts Say It’s Safe (12:01 p.m.)

Biden said Monday he would meet Trump in a second debate “if the scientists say that it’s safe.”

The Democratic nominee, boarding a plane to campaign in Miami, told reporters he would “listen to the science” on how to safely hold a second presidential debate now that Trump has been hospitalized with the coronavirus.

“Listen to the science. If the scientists say that it’s safe, the distances are safe, then I think that’s fine. I’ll do whatever the experts say is the appropriate thing to do,” Biden said.

The next presidential debate is slated for Thursday, Oct. 15 in Miami, but it’s unclear whether Trump will be well enough to compete. He tested positive just 14 days from the debate. He has been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since Friday.

That debate is expected to be in a town hall format, where voters ask questions of the candidates. The Sept. 29 debate hurt Trump in some post-debate polling after he incessantly interrupted and cross-talked over Biden and moderator Chris Wallace. — Jennifer Epstein

Trump, Biden Campaign Ads Cite Same Misleading Poll Number (9:59 a.m.)

The Biden and Trump campaigns have both run Facebook ads citing the same misleading poll number about the November election.

This weekend, the Trump campaign ran an ad that highlighted one of Biden’s from September with the words “Biden Is Worried.”

“Biden is running ads saying that President Trump being up in the polls keeps the campaign UP AT NIGHT!” the Trump ad read.

Trump is not “up in the polls,” however. The Biden ad was playing off a poll that showed a small fraction of Americans believe Trump will be reelected.

“This is what keeps us up at night,” the ad read. “More Americans still expect Donald Trump to win in November, according to a new CBS poll.”

That was true, barely. A CBS News/YouGov poll in mid August found 41% of registered voters think Trump will win in November, while 40% thought Biden will win — a statistically meaningless number considering the poll’s 2.4 percentage point margin of error.

Now, Biden is ahead nationally and in the battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Wisconsin in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.

Trump Gets Back to Tweeting About Fox News (7:06 a.m.)

The White House released multiple photos of the president sitting at a desk in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to show that he was still working.

But the real signal that he might be feeling better came at 6:19 a.m. New York time, when he began tweeting about things he saw on “Fox and Friends.”

In five tweets sent before 7 a.m., Trump quoted a voter on “Fox and Friends,” argued Virginia’s governor wants to “obliterate” gun rights, and urged his supporters to vote with all-caps messages about the stock market, the military and taxes.

“NEXT YEAR WILL BE THE BEST EVER. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!!!!” he wrote.

Trump’s Twitter feed had been eerily quiet since he announced Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, with only a smattering of retweets and short messages thanking well-wishers.

Debate May Have Hurt Trump in National Polls (6:42 a.m.)

The polls showing voter preference for Trump or Biden didn’t change after unrest in cities across the country, a Supreme Court opening, or the conventions.

But the debate may have made a difference.

An Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released Sunday showed a significant bump for Biden among registered voters nationwide.

In the poll, conducted after the Sept. 29 debate, 53% supported Biden, and 39% backed Trump, a 6-point jump in support for Biden from the same poll in mid-September.

The poll also showed 50% of voters had a “very negative” view of Trump, the highest he’s reached in an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll since he was elected president. Only 29% had a “very positive” view, by contrast.

The survey of 800 registered voters was conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 1. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.

Time Runs Out to Register Voters in Two Battleground States

Volunteers are racing against the clock to sign up new voters in the battlegrounds of Arizona and Florida, where voter registration ends Monday.

Biden holds a 3-point lead in Arizona and a 2-point lead in Florida, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Although voter registration drives are always a chore, they’ve been especially fraught this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and legal challenges.

Places where people typically register, including malls and motor vehicle departments, have been closed or restricted, while traditional door-knocking efforts have seemed ill-advised. In response, campaigns and nonpartisan groups have shifted resources to signing voters up online.

There has been an added wrinkle in Florida, where state officials and advocates have fought over restoring voting rights to convicted felons who have served their sentences. A federal court ruled this month that felons would still need to pay off outstanding court-related debt.

Apart from Arizona and Florida, voter registration ends Monday in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Coming Up:

Biden campaigns in Florida on Monday, visiting Little Haiti and Little Havana neighborhoods of Miami; Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence will meet for the only vice presidential debate on Wednesday at the University of Utah.

— With assistance by Jennifer Epstein, Gregory Korte, Bill Allison, and Emma Kinery

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