Trump, Biden tied when it comes to economy: poll

President TrumpDonald John TrumpState Department revokes visa of Giuliani-linked Ukrainian ally: report White House Gift Shop selling ‘Trump Defeats COVID’ commemorative coin Biden says he should not have called Trump a clown in first debate MORE and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenState Department revokes visa of Giuliani-linked Ukrainian ally: report Biden says he should not have called Trump a clown in first debate Biden inquired about calling Trump after coronavirus diagnosis MORE are tied on the question of who voters trust to better handle the economy, while Biden leads Trump overall in terms of who voters plan to support in the November election, according to a new poll.

Trump and Biden are tied at 49 percent among registered voters on who would better handle the economy, according to the CNN poll released Tuesday. Among likely voters, Biden leads 50 percent to 48 percent, a difference that falls within the poll’s margin of error.

The survey does not represent a marked difference from a CNN poll released in September, which also showed a dead heat on the topic of the economy, but it underscores a sharp drop for Trump from earlier this year when he led on the question of the economy by 12 points, 54 percent to 42 percent, in a May poll.

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The sharp swing from earlier this year reflects the economy’s unsteady footing after the coronavirus pandemic pushed the country into a recession.

The unemployment rate topped double digits early in the pandemic and reached its highest point since the Great Depression. It has slowly begun recovering losses, adding 661,000 jobs in September, and now sits at 7.9 percent, according to the Labor Department’s final jobs report before Election Day.

Still, the unemployment rate is the highest it’s ever been before a presidential election since monthly record-keeping began in 1948, and the September numbers were well below the projections of economists who had anticipated adding roughly 800,000 jobs last month. The number of permanent job losses also hit a seven-year high of 3.8 million.

Overall, 48 percent of voters said they approve of the president’s handling of the pandemic, while another 48 percent said they disapprove. September’s poll showed 50 percent of voters approving, compared with 45 percent who said they disapproved.

Trump has touted recent stock market gains as evidence of a surging comeback, though economists have pointed out that a large chunk of the economic gains have benefited rich households rather than low-income families. 

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An analysis released last month by Moody’s Analytics found that a Biden victory as well as Democratic control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate would bring the quickest return to full employment, the highest number of jobs added and the best rebound in economic growth.

Overall, Biden led Trump by a 56 percent to 41 percent margin in the CNN poll among registered voters on who they would vote for if the election were today.

The CNN poll surveyed 1,095 registered voters and 1,001 likely voters from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4 and has margins of error of 3.5 percentage points and 3.6 percentage points for the respective samples.