Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has opened up a 14-point lead over President Donald Trump nationally in a poll conducted after last Tuesday night's debate, NBC News reported. The poll was taken before the president's COVID-19 diagnosis and does not reflect any changes in voter behavior since that news.
The NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll had the former vice president leading his adversary 53 percent to 39 percent among registered voters. The survey was conducted in the two days following Tuesday's debate, during which the two men sometimes talked over each other and during which moderator Chris Wallace struggled to maintain order.
By comparison, in the most recent poll conducted by the same agency prior to the debate, Biden led Trump by eight points. His previous highest lead was 11 points.
On the topic of the debate, poll respondents believed, by a nearly two-to-one margin, that Biden was the winner in the contest. Specifically, 49 percent of respondents said that Biden was the clear winner, while only 24 percent said that Trump had the upper hand. Of the remainder, 17 percent said that neither man won the debate.
Similarly, the debate did actually change some voters' minds. While the vast majority — 73 percent — said that their decision on whom to vote for was not changed after the event, 19 percent said they were more likely to support Biden afterward, while six percent said the debate moved the needle in Trump's favor when it comes to their vote.
"Last night was a snapshot of the last three and a half years. Not being able to say anything about white supremacists, being negative and being unpresidential," said one poll respondent.
The debate also provided something of a snapshot of each man's temperament. And when it comes to having the mental capacity to be the president of the United States, a majority of respondents believe that Biden is the better man for the job. Fifty-eight percent of voters said that Biden is more qualified for the job when it comes to temperament, while only 26 percent said the same of Trump.
Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates did not mince any words about the winner and loser Tuesday night.
"The clear loser from the debate was Donald Trump. And at least for the short term, this has damaged his standing against Joe Biden," he said.
Meanwhile, the biggest political news of the past few weeks — Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis — has cast a shadow over the upcoming election. As of Sunday morning, no polls have been released that reveal whether or not the president's illness will have an effect on voting.