A sexual assault allegation hasn’t hurt Biden’s poll numbers — yet

Tara Reade’s allegation of sexual abuse has not made a noticeable dent in Joe Biden’s poll against President Donald Trump so far.

The suspected Democratic nominee has “unequivocally” denied the allegations of sexual assault against Reade, a former Senate official of his, for an incident she said happened in 1993. call to Biden to step down or be replaced at the Democratic convention, polls so far show that Democrats and independent voters are still largely behind the former vice president.

A new national survey by Monmouth University Released Wednesday with a 3.6 percent margin of error showing Biden leading Trump 50-41. The same poll found that voters were equally divided as to whether they believed Reade’s claim: 37 percent of voters said it was “probably true”, while 32 percent said it was “probably not true” and again 31 percent had no opinion.

Other polls this week provide a similar picture: Even if some voters think Reade’s allegations are true, it may not be enough to get some of Biden’s off, unless more confirmation or additional prosecutors come forward, numerous said. polls to Vox.

“I think the news itself in terms of impact is not enough to lift the foundation of this election, which is a referendum on the President,” Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray told Vox. “The alternative must really be something unacceptable. I think in a different situation at a different time with different candidates this would have a much bigger impact for Biden. ”

While the Monmouth poll shows that Biden’s approval rating is declining somewhat, his numbers in a head-to-head match against Trump remain relatively stable – and even grow slightly compared to previous Monmouth polls. It should be noted that Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to sexual assault by more than 20 women, and was elected president in 2016, a month after a tape appeared bragging about abusing women.

Two Others polls released this week, suggests that Reade’s allegations are causing a minority of democratic voters to rethink the party’s choice for the candidate, with women and younger voters being more skeptical of Biden’s denial. A Monday Morning Consult poll found that about 25 percent of Democrats wanted Biden to be replaced as the Democratic candidate after looking at his denial of Reade’s allegations, while another survey by Politico and Morning Consult found that 32 percent of voters from all sides said Reade’s claims made them less likely to vote for Biden.

Breaking unity in the party and waning polls, especially among young voters, could put Biden in trouble later. But at this point in the campaign, these numbers may partly reflect the Democrats’ recent divisions – and these voters weren’t keen on Biden at the beginning, polls told Vox.

“If I participate in the Biden campaign and see that one in four Democrats want to replace Biden right now, I don’t think that number is that bad,” said Cameron Easley, editor in chief at Morning Consult. “I could even expect it to be a bit higher. Unless you see some other details popping up, some other democratic elites and leaders come to the sidelines and turn on Biden, I wouldn’t expect these numbers to get much higher. “

As he bumps into Trump – a man whose response to sexual assault allegations has been to attack his accusers – Biden has come to lean strongly in his image as a champion of women’s rights and moral authority. Whether Reade’s claims have ever been proven or not, they could get in the way of the contrast Biden wants to draw.

A Morning Consult tracking poll conducted May 2-3 with a 2 percent margin of error, voters between the two men didn’t see much daylight about sexual harassment and misconduct. The poll found that 44 percent of voters said it was a “big problem” for Trump, while 37 percent said the same for Biden. The Trump campaign has already taken up Reade’s allegations, and the coming weeks will set up an important test of how Biden and his campaign continue to respond.

“How he handles this is very important,” said David Paleologos, pollster at Suffolk University. “I think it’s less about what happened and more about how Vice President Biden will handle it.”

What the polls tell us about how voters view Reade’s allegations

Three polls from Morning Consult, Politico, and Monmouth University have sketched a general picture this week suggesting that even if voters believe Reade’s claims, it may not be enough to dump Biden.

“It doesn’t change the underlying basis,” Murray said of what the results suggest. “That could change, we could have more charges [from] more women. But at the moment it is not enough – even for people who believe it, it is not enough. “

The Monmouth national poll of the 739 registered voters showed a clear partisan split: 50 percent of Republicans said the statement was likely true, compared with 17 percent who said it was likely not true; 55 percent of Democrats said it was probably not true, compared to 20 percent who believed it to be true. Independents were more likely to disbelieve Reid’s claim; 43 percent said they believed it to be true, compared to 22 percent who said it was not. Another 35 percent of voters said they had no opinion.

“There are democratically minded independents there – this is the group that says, ‘I believe this, but I’m still voting for Biden,'” said Murray. “They are not hardcore democrats, but they are people against Trump.”

A Monday morning poll of 1,991 registered voters across the country with a 2 percentage point error margin found 26 percent of voters that the Democratic Party should choose another nominee after viewing Biden’s denial of the allegations in an MSNBC interview while 61 percent said Biden should remain the Democratic nominee.

Overall, 41 percent of voters from all parties in the Morning Consult poll said they found Biden’s denial credible, while 38 percent said it was not credible (another 22 percent said they didn’t know). Morning Consult found that 61 percent of Democrats find Biden’s denials credible, compared to just 19 percent who said they did not.

The poll also found a noticeable gender-generational split on the matter; Democratic women were 12 percentage points less likely to believe Biden’s denial than democratic men. Likewise, Democrats under 45 were 14 points less likely to believe Biden than Democrats 45 and older. But when it came to actually replacing Biden as a nominated ticket, only 24 percent of Democratic men and 28 percent of Democratic women said yes.

There was a much larger generational split about this question: 40 percent of the under-45 Democrats surveyed said they should replace Biden, while only 15 percent of those aged 45 and over said they should be.

The finding that younger voters wanted to replace Biden earlier is consistent with that of Suffolk pollster Paleologos recent USA Today poll of Sanders’ more than 600 voters, those 22 percent of those voters said they would vote for a third-party candidate, and 60 percent said they were “not very or at all enthusiastic” about Biden’s nomination. Sanders largely captured the youth vote in the 2020 primaries, while Biden fared well with older voters.

“That is the democratic wheelhouse for volunteers,” said Paleologos. “And here they say with a clear majority that they are not excited. So Biden has to take that into account.”

The Tuesday Morning Consult and Politico poll (also with a 2-point margin of error) found that 32 percent of voters said Reade’s allegations made them slightly or much less likely to vote for Biden, while 42 percent said it also made no difference way. The poll also found that 36 percent of voters said the Democratic Party should “definitely” or “probably” select another candidate, compared with 40 percent who said “certainly” or “probably”.

“At the moment he is doing well in the poll, but it can cost a dime,” said Paleologos. “If there is any other information that contradicts that, then I think his approach to the issue will be critical, especially among swing voters.”

How the Biden campaign responds to the allegations

Biden’s campaign made reaching women a substantial part of the operation long before Reade’s allegations surfaced.

Now Biden is walking on a tightrope. The former vice president has stated that “this statement is unequivocally false,” but he has also encouraged journalists to further investigate and investigate Reade’s claims. Biden’s campaign recently wrote to the Secretary of the United States Senate requesting that he disclose all details of a sexual harassment complaint against him (the Senate rejected Biden’s request).

“My knowledge that it is not true does not invalidate my belief that women should be heard and that all claims should be taken seriously,” Biden said in a recent fundraiser. “I know this claim is unfounded. But as a candidate for President, I am accountable to the American people. And I welcome that responsibility and also the control of the press. ”

Biden needs women who stand up for him to win in November; as a voting block, they cannot be underestimated. Women are much more likely to consider themselves democrats or tend to be democratic than men, and the gender gap has widened since 2012, when women voted for 11 percent points on Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. In 2016, that gap widened to 13 points for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, and widened in 2018 to 19 points for Democratic House candidates versus Republican.

In March, Biden announced that he would choose a woman for his running mate and promised to appoint a black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court if he were elected president. His promise to select a female vice president was an implied acknowledgment of the major role women play in the Democratic Party; The 2016 nominee was a woman, and both female candidates and voters sparked democratic victories in the meantime of 2018.

Not only do Reade’s claims question Biden’s report on women’s issues, they can also give Republicans ammunition to muddle the waters around the central theme of Biden’s candidacy: restoring ‘the soul of the land, character of our people ‘.

It is far too early to say whether Republicans will succeed, Murray said.

“We don’t have enough information in the polling data yet to suggest where a tipping point could be where it could swing voters against Biden on that issue or neutralize that campaign strategy for Biden,” he told Vox.