The final Trump-Biden debate is now over. It was a more civilized affair than the first, helped by a format change that meant microphones were partially muted to avoid interruptions. However, there were no developments likely to materially alter recent polling. Joe Biden remains around 10 points ahead on national polls (52 vs 41), leaving a big gap for Donald Trump to make up in the final 11 days.
But Biden’s lead is narrower in battleground states such as Pennsylvania (5 points) and Florida (2 points). And national polls could yet narrow from here. While any new revelations from either side seem unlikely at this stage, last minute disruptions cannot entirely be ruled out. Moreover, COVID will continue to have an impact. The US daily case count is rising again, with the seven-day average count moving steadily higher during the past month and yesterday’s roughly 63,400 new cases close to recent highs. The focus on COVID at the start of Thursday’s debate hindered Trump’s case for re-election.
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