Trump holds largest lead since 2015 in postdebate survey

Former President Trump is leading his Democratic presidential challenger by his largest margin since 2015, according to a highly anticipated postdebate survey.

A poll released by The New York Times and Siena College of likely voters found the former president leading Biden by a 6-point margin at 49 percent support to 43 percent. When the poll focuses on registered voters, Trump’s lead increases to 8 points, coming in at 49 percent support to 41 percent.

The news outlet noted that it’s the highest margin that Trump has led by since he first ran for president in 2015.

Yet the Biden campaign sought to brush off the polling, arguing it confirmed what’s already been known — that the matchup between Trump and Biden would be close.

“Both internal and outside polling confirm that the race remains incredibly tight and I agree with the Times that today’s polling doesn’t fundamentally change the course of the race,” Biden campaign pollster Molly Murphy said, alluding to the poll showing Trump widening his lead by 3 percentage points before and after the debate.

“President Biden continues to narrow Trump’s support among independents, and we have work to do to bring home our coalition — all the while Trump appears unable to expand his coalition,” she continued.

The survey underscores how Biden and his team have been unable to dismiss concerns over the president’s age and mental fitness following his disastrous debate performance.

Recent polling, both nationally and locally, has started to show signs that Biden’s postdebate performance has hurt him, at least in the short term.

Several vulnerable House Democrats have suggested that Biden will lose to Trump in November, while one House Democrat has called on the president to drop out.

The New York Times/Siena College poll was conducted between June 28 and July 2 with 1,532 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

Updated at 4:16 p.m.

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