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Two national polls this week shed light on why Trump may be shaking up his campaign

President Trump returned to the White House after a trip to Atlanta.
President Trump returned to the White House after a trip to Atlanta.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Just months before the November general election, President Trump is shaking up his top campaign staff, replacing campaign manager Brad Parscale with Republican campaign veteran Bill Stepien.

And the polls this week offer a pretty good hint about why: Former vice president Joe Biden has opened up a wide lead against Trump, as high as 15 points in one national poll.

Here’s a closer look at the state of the race this week, according to several recent polls.

Biden’s lead is widening over Trump nationally

A Quinnipiac poll of registered voters nationwide published Wednesday found Biden with a 15-point lead over Trump, with Biden receiving 52 percent of support, compared to Trump’s 37 percent. Compare that to Quinnipiac’s June poll, which found Biden with a much tighter 49 percent to 41 percent lead.

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“There is no upside, no silver lining, no encouraging trend hidden somewhere in this survey for the president,” said Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy in a press release.

The Quinnipiac poll of 1,273 registered voters, which had a 2.8 percent margin of error, was among two major polls out this week that surveyed voters nationwide. The other one, from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, found Biden up 51 percent to 40 percent, an 11-point margin. That poll surveyed 900 registered voters and had a margin of error of 3.3 percent.

Setting aside individual surveys, the polling average from the website FiveThirtyEight, which factors in results from several polls, shows Biden up by about nine points as of Thursday morning.

Trump’s performance on issues like the coronavirus and racial inequality are hurting him

The Quinnipiac poll found that Biden also holds double digit leads over Trump when it comes to handling the coronavirus pandemic and racial inequality, two issues respondents said they will weigh when choosing whom to vote for. Respondents said they thought Biden would do a better job handling the pandemic than Trump, 59 percent to 35 percent ― a 24 point difference. On which candidate would better handle racial inequality, the difference was even more stark: 62 percent said Biden while just 30 percent said Trump, a difference of 32 points.

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Respondents overall said they were unhappy with the direction the nation is going: 56 percent said they were “very dissatisfied” with how things are going, while just 24 percent reported being very or somewhat satisfied.

Drilling down, Trump keeps picking fights on issues unpopular with most voters

When Trump replaced his campaign manager, a donor to the president’s campaign told the Wall Street Journal that he hoped the new head of the campaign could rein in some of Trump’s tweets. And this week’s polls show why: The issues Trump’s White House has focused on in recent weeks, like protecting symbols of the Confederacy or criticizing public health officials, are deeply unpopular.

Nearly two-thirds of voters in the Quinnipiac poll said they thought Trump was hurting efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus and trusted Dr. Anthony Fauci. That finding comes as White House aides just spent several days attacking Fauci’s credibility. On top of that, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found respondents were twice as likely to support a candidate who prioritized slowing the spread of coronavirus over one who prioritized reopening businesses.

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On race issues, the majority of respondents think the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and support removing Confederate statues from public spaces, according to the Quinnipiac poll, even as Trump has repeatedly defended such statues, and said this week the Confederate flag was a symbol of “freedom of speech.”




Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.