Joe Biden campaigns in Pittsburgh
Joe Biden campaigns in Pittsburgh on Monday. REUTERS/Alan Freed

The authoritative USC Dornsife Daybreak Poll released Tuesday shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump 52% to 41% with just 7% of voters undecided.

Biden has a strong 13-point lead in the suburbs and is tied with Trump among white suburbanites.

The poll shows the president has lost ground in many core demographic groups who voted for him in 2016, including men, voters without college degrees, and residents of rural areas.

The national poll, conducted Aug. 11 to 29 with a panel of more than 6,000 participants, has a 1 percentage point margin of statistical error. The USC poll was one of the few that predicted a Trump victory in 2016.

“Obviously, it’s still early and we don’t know the full impact and future course of the ongoing racial strife and the two nominees’ reactions to it, but one thing is clear: Trump starts the fall campaign in a weaker position than any incumbent since George H. W. Bush,” said Robert Shrum, director of the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future.

In 2016, the Daybreak Poll showed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Trump were roughly even among suburban voters. This latest Daybreak Poll shows Biden leading Trump among self-described suburbanites by 53% to 40%. Among white voters in suburban areas, a group that Trump handily won in 2016, the president is currently tied with Biden.

“The race can tighten as election days nears, but Biden is still in a strong position,” said Mike Murphy, co-director of the Center for the Political Future. “Trump is under-performing in the groups he needs, particularly suburban voters. And he’s running out of time to change that.”

The poll is unique in the extensive size of its panel and because the same people are surveyed repeatedly over the weeks before the election to track changes in support for the candidates.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.