Presidential Snapshot in Time (May 29, 2020)

In May 2006, The Raconteurs released their Grammy-nominated debut single, “Steady, As She Goes.” In May 2020, presidential polling followed that advice. Joe Biden maintains a steady national lead over President Donald Trump, while new state polls still show a tight race in key battlegrounds.

By discussing one-off surveys and comprehensive aggregates alike, this Presidential Snapshot in Time series seeks to contextualize the polling trends driving the 2020 election, thereby supplying a clearer image of the current electoral landscape.  

After Memorial Day weekend, the former vice president enters the early summer with a consistent national advantage over the incumbent president. In an average of polls released from May 16 through May 29, Joe Biden led President Donald Trump by 6.5 points (47.9 percent to 41.4 percent).

Such a margin falls in line with prior snapshots of the campaign:

  • Two weeks ago (May 15, 2020), Biden was ahead by 5.5 points (47.9 percent to 42.4 percent)
  • Four weeks ago (May 1, 2020), Biden was ahead by 6.8 points (48.7 percent to 42.1 percent)
  • Three months ago (February 29, 2019), Biden was ahead by 4 points (47.9 percent to 43.9 percent)
  • Six months ago (November 29, 2019), Biden was ahead by 6.7 points (49 percent to 42.3 percent)

When comparing these numbers, keep in mind that polls are similar to roller coasters: it’s unwise to obsess over quarter-point gains and tenth-point drops, because they’re inconsequential in the…

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