Published: 05:54 BST, 31 August 2020 | Updated: 08:05 BST, 31 August 2020
Donald Trump has mocked Joe Biden for ‘coming out of the basement earlier than his hoped’, after polls showed the president ahead in key battleground states.
In a series of Sunday evening tweets, the president celebrated recent polling, which suggests he is on course to defeat his Democrat rival.
Before the Republican Convention last week, Biden was given an 11 point lead by some polls.
On Sunday a Democracy Institute/Sunday Express poll gave Trump 48 per cent of popular support, and Biden 45 per cent.
In swing states the margin of victory was even higher, with 49 per cent for Trump and 42 per cent for Biden.
Donald Trump, pictured touring hurricane damage in Louisiana on Friday, has mocked Joe Biden’s Monday return to the campaign trail, saying it is a sign of desperation
Biden has not campaigned since March but Monday will be in the swing state of Pennsylvania
Biden’s team is currently making plans for him to get back out on the campaign trail for the first time since the pandemic began in March.
Trump has consistently ridiculed Biden for his policy of respecting CDC guidelines, claiming the Democratic nominee is ‘hiding in his basement’.
‘Joe Biden is coming out of the basement earlier than his hoped for ten days because his people told him he has no choice, his poll numbers are PLUNGING!’ Trump tweeted.
‘Going to Pittsburgh, where I have helped industry to a record last year, & then back to his basement for an extended period.’
Trump went on to accuse Biden of being soft on crime – a frequent line of attack in the months since George Floyd’s May 25 killing, which sparked a wave of unrest that is still roiling the United States.
‘If he loses them, like Crooked Hillary did, he is “toast”, and many will vote for me because of TRADE (Bernie was good on trade).
He also asked when Biden would denounce the violence that has wracked parts of America, with cities such as Portland, Seattle, Chicago and Kenosha left to pick up the pieces.
Biden on Sunday morning issued a statement criticizing ‘the incitement of hate and resentment that led to this deadly clash.’
He continued: ‘Shooting in the streets of a great American city is unacceptable. I condemn this violence unequivocally. I condemn violence of every kind by any one, whether on the left or the right.’
But seemingly unaware of Biden’s strong condemnation of the violence only hours before, Trump tweeted: ‘When is Slow Joe Biden going to criticize the Anarchists, Thugs & Agitators in ANTIFA?
‘When is he going to suggest bringing up the National Guard in BADLY RUN & Crime Infested Democrat Cities & States?
Biden has accused Trump of fanning the flames of hatred to further his own political chances.
On Thursday Kellyanne Conway, adviser to the president, admitted that it helped him, saying: ‘The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.’
‘A country that accepts the killing of fellow Americans who do not agree with you. A country that vows vengeance toward one another.
‘But that is the America that President Trump wants us to be, the America he believes we are.’
The Trump team’s emphasis on law and order did appear to be having an impact, however, with polls showing a tightening in the presidential race.
A Yahoo News-YouGov survey which was done over the course of this past Thursday and Friday found that Biden maintains a 47 per cent to 41 per cent advantage over the incumbent.
The poll shows about a two-and-a-half per cent shift from Biden to Trump compared to a survey conducted by Yahoo News-YouGov a month ago which showed the Democratic former vice president up by slightly less than nine percentage points.
The latest poll indicates that roughly one per cent of registered voters who last month said they would support Biden now indicate they will back Trump.
But the president appears confident of victory as he tweeted a poll that claims to show him winning both the popular vote and the electoral college – thus securing re-election to a second term in the White House.
He was reacting to a tweet that claimed to show the results of a new survey that has the president winning the national popular vote by 48 to 45 per cent over Biden.
The president also claimed that the poll showed him winning in key battleground states like Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.
Former Vice President Joe Biden (left) has just a six-point edge over President Trump (right), according to the latest Yahoo News-YouGov survey
But the president appears confident of victory as he tweeted a poll that claims to show him winning both the popular vote and the electoral college – thus securing re-election to a second term in the White House. Trump on Saturday tweeted: ‘Moving along nicely. MAGA!’
Morning Consult also conducted a post-convention poll which showed Trump trailing Biden by just six points.
A separate survey of other registered voters by Yahoo News-YouGov gave Biden an 11-point advantage both before and after the Democratic National Convention.
The latest survey shows that 96 per cent of both Trump and Biden supporters have already made up their mind – up two per cent from late July.
The new survey also found that Democrats have a 49 per cent to 38 per cent advantage in voting for the Congressional elections.
Trump appears to have gained voters in recent weeks who say the president comes across as having ‘strength.’
The Yahoo News-YouGov poll found that 96 per cent of Trump and Biden voters have already made up their mind and just 8 per cent of voters are undecided. The image above shows supporters and opponents of Trump in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on Friday
Before the Republican convention, 33 per cent of Americans said Trump had ‘strength.’ After the convention, that number increased to 38 per cent.
Last month, just 19 per cent of those surveyed agreed that Trump ‘cares a lot about people like you.’
Those who said they like Trump ‘a lot’ or ‘somewhat’ increased from 24 per cent to 28 per cent.
Trump has also seen a slight uptick in the number of voters who approve of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whereas 38 per cent approved last month, that number has now increased to 40 per cent as the number of cases and daily deaths begin to decline.
But the poll does not indicate that a mass of voters are shifting their support to Trump in light of the rioting that taken place in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and elsewhere following last week’s police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.
In July, 59 per cent said they were either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat worried’ about a ‘breakdown of law and order in American cities.’
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