In this combination of file photos, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on March 12, 2020, left, and President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington on April 5, 2020. Early polling in the general election face-off between Trump and Biden bears out a gap …


President Donald Trump now leads Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the national popular vote by one point, according to the Sunday Express/Democracy Institute Poll released on Sunday.

The poll found that 46 percent of likely voters nationwide support Trump while 45 percent support Biden.

The poll of 1,500 likely voters was conducted between September 30 and October 2 and has a margin of error of 2.5 percent, which means the results indicate a statistical tie between Trump and Biden. The poll surveyed voters in the wake the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden on September 29. Trump announced that he tested positive for Chinese coronavirus in the early hours of Friday, October 2, the last day of the poll.

With four weeks and two days until the November 3, 2020, general election, the poll results provide encouraging news to the Trump campaign after the announcement early Friday morning that the president had been diagnosed with Chinese coronavirus and is currently hospitalized and being treated at Walter Reed Hospital.

The poll released by the same polling firm one month earlier on August 29 showed Trump with a three point lead over Biden, 48 percent to 45 percent, indicating a two point drop for Trump, though Biden’s support has not increased.

The Real Clear Politics Average of Polls, which does not include the Sunday Express/Democracy Institute Poll among polls included in its average, currently shows Biden with a 7.6 point lead over President Trump in the national popular vote.

An IBD/TIPP Poll released on Friday, which is included in the polling average, shows Biden with a three point lead over Trump in the national popular vote.

A Zogby Poll, released on Saturday, also excluded from the average, shows Biden with a two point lead over Trump in the national popular vote, within that poll’s margin of error.

The Sunday Express/Democracy Institute Poll released on Sunday found that 18 percent of Black voters support Trump, a significant increase from the eight percent who supported him in 2016.

Democracy Institute Director Patrick Basham called, “low support and enthusiasm” for Biden among Black voters the “Achilles’ Heel” of his campaign.

“To beat Trump, Biden needs nine in 10 Black votes, and lots of Black voters to cast ballots. Currently, he’s positioned to win only eight in ten, with two out of ten Black voters ready to support Trump, and overall Black turnout looking to be flat, at best,” Basham toldthe Sunday Express.

Trump performed well in several key battleground states.

In Florida, Trump leads Biden by four points, 48 percent to 44 percent, in the part of the poll conducted among 500 likely voters.

In Minnesota, Trump leads Biden by two points, 46 percent to 44 percent, in the part of the poll conducted among 450 likely voters in that state.

In New Hampshire, Trump leads Biden by two points, 45 percent to 43 percent, in the part of the poll conducted among 400 likely voters in that state.

The poll currently projects Trump is on track to win 320 Electoral College votes, compared to Biden’s 218, which is 50 electoral college votes more than the 270 Trump needs to win in 2020 to be re-elected.

At the national level, 61 percent of poll respondents believe Trump will be re-elected, while 39 percent believe he will not.

Thirty-two percent of poll respondents consider law and order the most important issue, followed by 30 percent who say it is jobs and the economy, and 15 percent who say it is the coronavirus pandemic, and another 15 percent who say it is education.

Twelve percent of poll respondents say that Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court makes them more likely to vote for the president, nine percent say it makes them less likely, and 79 percent say it makes no difference.

Eighty-seven percent of Biden supporters said they were “comfortable with relatives, friends, coworkers knowing how you vote,” but only 22 percent of Trump supporters with the same.

Nineteen percent of poll respondents said Trump’s positive coronavirus test made them more likely to vote for the president, while 13 percent said it made them less likely to do so, and 68 percent said it made no difference.

The results of the Sunday Express/Democracy Institute Poll on the question of who won the September 29 presidential debate differed from those of most other polls.

When asked “Who won the TV debate?,” 32 percent of poll respondents said Trump, while 18 percent said Biden. Fifty percent of respondents said the debate was a draw.

Twenty percent of poll respondents said the debate made them more likely to support Trump, while eight percent said it made them more likely to support Biden. Seventy-two percent said it made no difference.

Friday’s IBD/TIPP Poll on that question, for instance, returned different top-line results on the question of “who won,” but found the debate switched more undecided voters to Trump than to Biden:

Registered voters who watched or listened to Tuesday’s debate thought Biden did better, 44%-33%. Independents saw Biden as the winner, 43%-20%. . .

After the debate, 19% of registered voters who watched said they switched their vote, with 11% backing Trump and 8% shifting to Biden. Nearly everyone who said they switched to Trump had voted for him in 2016. Half those who switched to Biden had voted for Clinton in 2016. The others included Trump voters, nonvoters and third-party voters.

The Zogby Poll released on Saturday did not ask which candidate “won” the first 2020 presidential debate.

However, John Zogby, director of the Zogby Poll, said:

Contrary to my own observations, it looks like the President has not been hurt by his debate performance nor his hospitalization. His 47% performance is actually one point higher than his vote percentage in 2016.

For now, he appears to have consolidated his base of Whites, parents, conservatives, men, and his own party’s voters.

Joe Biden looks as if he is on his way to doing the same with his base. His numbers among Hispanics are respectable but not quite at the 66%-67% he really needs. The same with Blacks. His 86% is better than our last poll but he needs to hit 90%, especially in those key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Georgia. His 60%-35% lead among young voters is about where he needs to be.

Polls after the first presidential debate in 2016 between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump showed that Clinton “won” that debate over Trump by margins of as much as 30 percent.

But those first debate poll results had little impact on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, in which Trump defeated Clinton in the Electoral College by 304 electoral college votes to 227 votes (with seven faithless electors), despite losing the popular vote by two points, 46 percent to 48 percent.