POLL-Biden leads Trump nationally by 9 points, with suburbs focused on coronavirus, not crime -Reuters/Ipsos poll

NEW YORK, Sept 16- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads Republican President Donald Trump nationally among likely U.S. voters by 9 percentage points, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll that showed Trump’s “law and order” message falling short with its target audience of suburban voters. The Sept. 11-15 opinion poll, released on Wednesday, found that…

By Chris Kahn

NEW YORK, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Democratic presidentialnominee Joe Biden leads Republican President Donald Trumpnationally among likely U.S. voters by 9 percentage points,according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll that showed Trump’s “law andorder” message falling short with its target audience ofsuburban voters.

The Sept. 11-15 opinion poll, released on Wednesday, foundthat 50% of likely voters said they were casting their ballotsfor Biden while 41% were doing the same for Trump. Another 3%said they would support a third-party candidate and the restwere undecided.

The poll also showed that most American voters were lockedin on their choice for president. Nine out of 10 likely Bidenvoters and 8 out of 10 likely Trump voters said they were“completely certain” about their choice for president. Only 1 in10 likely Biden voters and fewer than 2 in 10 likely Trumpvoters appeared to be wavering in their choice.

The poll suggests that Biden has an early advantage insecuring the national popular vote in the Nov. 3 presidentialelection. Still, 9% of likely voters are undecided or have notyet supported either major-party candidate. Their decision incoming weeks could determine who wins.

Winning the national popular vote does not necessarily meanwinning the election, which is decided by the state-by-stateElectoral College system. Trump won in 2016 despite losing thepopular vote.

Trump, who has trailed Biden in most national surveys thisyear, has spent recent months trying to refocus his campaign onthe anti-racism protests that have spread across the countryfollowing the killing of African Americans including GeorgeFloyd in confrontations with police.

Trump has tried to position himself as a protector of the”Suburban Lifestyle Dream,” saying that suburban Americans wantsafety and security more than anything else.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll found that only 11% of suburbanwhites said the most important factor driving their vote was acandidate’s perceived interest in being “tough on crime” andcivil unrest.

That is down from 13% of suburban whites who responded to asimilar poll that ran Sept. 9-10, and 15% who said the samething in a Sept. 3-8 poll.

Instead, suburban whites, like all Americans, have beenlargely driven by concerns about the coronavirus, which haskilled more than 195,000 people so far in the United States,more than any other country in the world.

When asked about the most important factor driving theirvote, 27% of suburban whites said they were looking for acandidate with a robust plan for handling the virus, while 25%said they wanted someone who would restore trust in Americangovernment. Another 19% said they wanted a president who wasstrong on the economy and jobs.

Trump is now planning to spend $10 million on advertisementsthat focus on the economy – an issue where he maintains a highlevel of popularity.

The poll found that 45% of U.S. adults think Trump is thebetter candidate for rebuilding the economy, compared with 36%who say Biden would be better.

Overall, battling the coronavirus ranked as the No. 1concern and restoring trust in government No. 2.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English,throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,358American adults, including 859 likely voters. The poll has acredibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 4percentage points.

Click here for the full poll results: https://tmsnrt.rs/33Diy02

(Reporting by Chris Kahn; Editing by Scott Malone and HowardGoller)

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