Fortune battleground poll: Biden leads on social unrest, Trump on economy

September 9, 2020, 4:17 PM UTC

President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden both denounced the looting and vandalism in Kenosha, Wisconsin committed by protestors following the August 23 shooting of an unarmed black man, Jacob Blake, by police.

And both Trump and Biden see social unrest moving battleground state voters to their side. The Trump campaign argues the protest will push swing voters to the “law and order” candidate, aka Trump. Meanwhile, Democratic officials say social unrest will move undecided voters toward the candidate that can unite and heal the country, aka Biden.

But what does the data say? To find out, Fortune and SurveyMonkey teamed up to poll 2,725 U.S. adults between August 31 and September 1.* We also cut the data by battleground states.**

Keep in mind our polling data is for U.S. adults, not just registered voters or likely voters. And the Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll has a modeled error estimate of plus or minus 3 percentage points

We found that 52% of U.S. adults say Biden would do a better job handling social unrest, compared to 42% who say Trump. However, when asked who would do a better job with criminal justice, Biden’s lead over Trump falls to just 3 percentage points.

Biden also leads Trump by 51% to 43% on who Americans say would do a better job handling the pandemic response.

The bright spot for the Trump? Among U.S. adults, 49% say Trump would do a better job handling the economy, compared to 46% who say Biden. And our polling was conducted before the jobs report released on Friday, which saw the unemployment rate fall from 10.2% in July to 8.4% in August.

However, when only looking at battleground states, Biden’s lead on the issues drops. When it comes to handling the social unrest, 51% of battleground residents pick Biden over 46% who pick Trump. Meanwhile, 50% of U.S. adults in battleground states favor Trump on criminal justice, compared to 46% who say Biden.

And Trump’s lead on the economy grows even wider in battleground states. Among swing state residents, 53% say Trump would do a better job handling the economy, whereas 44% say Biden.

*Methodology: The Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll was conducted among a national sample of 2,725 adults in the U.S. between August 31 and September 1. This poll’s modeled error estimate is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The findings have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography.

**Battleground States includes Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin


This is an excerpt of data from Fortune Analytics, an exclusive newsletter that Fortune Premium subscribers receive as a perk of their subscription. The newsletter shares in-depth research on the most discussed topics in the business world right now. Our findings come from special surveys we run and proprietary data we collect and analyze. Sign up to get the full briefing in your inbox.

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