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President Trump called the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., which is the highest in the world, a ‘badge of honor.’

USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden leads against President Donald Trump in a new head-to-head poll from Quinnipiac University, which has the presumptive Democratic nominee up 11 points.

The poll, released Wednesday, found that voters supported Biden over Trump 50%-39%. Of Democrats surveyed, 88% said they would vote for Biden while 5% said they’d vote for Trump. Of Republicans, 87% chose Trump while 8% chose Biden. Independents favored Biden over Trump 47%-36%.

Biden’s lead is up from Quinnipiac’s national poll of voters in early April, when voters favored Biden over Trump 49%-41%; the change is within the survey’s margin of error.

Biden’s lead comes as states are beginning to roll out reopening plans amid the coronavirus pandemic. More voters disapprove of Trump’s response to the coronavirus than they did in April, the poll found. Forty-one percent of voters approve of the response while 56% disapprove, from 46% approval and 51% disapproval last month.

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Asked which candidate they thought would handle the coronavirus outbreak better, 55% said Biden would and 39% said Trump. More voters also said Biden would handle health care better than said Trump would, 57%-37%. But voters were divided on which candidate they thought would better be able to handle the economy, with 48% saying Biden and 47% saying Trump. 

“What does the 11 point Biden lead tell us? At best for Team Trump, it says voter confidence in President Trump is shaky. At worst for them, as coronavirus cases rise, Trump’s judgement is questioned—and November looms,” Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said.

Two-thirds of voters, 67%, said they thought Trump should wear a face mask in public, with the vast majority of Democrats, 90%, saying he should and most independents, 66%, in agreement. Thirty-eight percent of Republicans said he should wear a mask.

Trump has thus far not worn a mask in his public appearances, though most White House employees around him have done so after some staffers tested positive for the virus, including Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller. 

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Most Americans favor caution with the reopening of state businesses and public spaces, the poll found. Seventy-five percent said the reopening should be done slowly to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, despite negative impacts on the economy. 

“Reopen slowly, even if we are rolling the dice on how it will affect the economy, say three-quarters of American voters. As far as sending kids off to college, hopping on an airplane, or getting a haircut, there are reservations,” Malloy said.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted May 14-18 and surveyed 1,323 self-identified registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. 

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