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Trump approval rating jumps but voters still favour Biden to be next US president


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Backing: Senator Elizabeth Warren has now officially endorsed former US Vice President Joe Biden to be the next president. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Backing: Senator Elizabeth Warren has now officially endorsed former US Vice President Joe Biden to be the next president. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

Backing: Senator Elizabeth Warren has now officially endorsed former US Vice President Joe Biden to be the next president. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The number of Americans who approve of President Donald Trump has risen by five percentage points over the past week, but registered voters still favour Democrat Joe Biden for president by a small margin.

The Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll also showed the public is paying closer attention to the candidates' views on the pandemic than to what they are saying about the economy, healthcare or immigration. More people think Mr Biden is better suited to guide the country through the crisis.

Overall, 45pc of adults in the United States said they approved of Mr Trump's job performance, while 48pc said they approved of the way he has responded to Covid-19, up five and six points respectively from a similar poll last week. Mr Trump's approval numbers have been up and down over the past few weeks, however, and it is not yet clear if the public is truly rallying around the president.

Meanwhile, 45pc of registered voters said they would back Mr Biden in the November 3 election, while 40pc said they would vote for Mr Trump. Mr Biden has maintained a small advantage in support among registered voters over the last four weeks.

The poll was conducted with most Americans forced indoors to protect themselves from the coronavirus that has infected more than 600,000 people in the United States and killed more than 25,000.

After initially downplaying the threat of the virus, Mr Trump has conducted a series of combative news briefings in which he has harangued reporters for criticising him. Mr Biden, meanwhile, has struggled to remain in the conversation as the media focused on briefings by governors in some of the hardest-hit states.

When asked what was most important to them when deciding how to vote in the presidential election, 32pc of Americans said it was the candidate's plan to help the nation recover from the coronavirus. Smaller numbers said the candidate's views on the economy (21pc), healthcare (13pc) or immigration (5pc) were most important.

Some 52pc of Americans said they felt Mr Biden was better suited to deal with the coronavirus, while 48pc said they thought Mr Trump would be better. Fifty-seven percent also thought Mr Biden would be a better steward of the country's healthcare system, while 43pc said Mr Trump would be better.

Meanwhile, US Senator Elizabeth Warren has endorsed Mr Biden for president, delivering another high-profile backing from one of his former rivals as he aims to unify the Democratic Party ahead of a bruising contest with Mr Trump.

"In this moment of crisis, it's more important than ever that the next president restores Americans' faith in good, effective government - and I've seen Joe Biden help our nation rebuild," Ms Warren wrote in a tweet. "I'm proud to endorse Joe Biden as president of the United States."

Ms Warren, a liberal who ended her own bid for the White House last month, gives Mr Biden his third major endorsement of the week. His chief rival, Bernie Sanders, endorsed him on Monday after suspending his campaign last week, while former president Barack Obama backed Biden on Tuesday.

In recent weeks, the more moderate Mr Biden has made overtures to liberal backers of Mr Sanders and Ms Warren. After Mr Sanders's departure from the race, Mr Biden's campaign shifted left on two of his top priorities, student debt and Medicare, and the two men said during a joint video appearance they would create working groups to address major policy areas.

Mr Biden also adopted Ms Warren's sweeping plan on bankruptcy, a striking move given that the two rivals had clashed for more than a decade over legislation, which Mr Biden had backed, making it harder to file for bankruptcy protection.

Irish Independent