According to the most recent CNBC/Change Research Poll, fear over coronavirus has fallen in several key six swing states while at the same time President Donald Trump's approval rating has seen an uptick. In Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Trump now has an approval rating of 48%, two weeks ago his approval was at 46%.
Despite an uptick in his job approval rating, President Trump is still trailing his Democratic presidential opponent Joe Biden. According to Nate Silver's FiveThirtEight, Biden is currently favored to win the election — a 70 in 100 chance. Those numbers are in line with some of the world's top business leaders. Seventy-five percent of the CNBC Global CFO Council say Joe Biden will win the U.S. Presidential election in November, according to the latest quarterly survey of members released on Friday. That same number holds true for North American-based members.
The CNBC Global CFO Council represents some of the largest public and private companies in the world, collectively managing more than $5 trillion in market value across a wide variety of sectors. The Q3 2020 survey was conducted between Aug. 7 and Aug. 22. among 40 global members of the council.
Outside of the Presidential horse race, 63% of North American respondents believe that neither the Senate or the House will flip, while 25% believe the Democrats will take back the Senate and 6% believe the Republicans will take back the House.
A struggling economy typically puts incumbent presidents at a disadvantage but this election cycle is taking place in a relatively rare economic time as it will be only the third to take place during a formal recession since World War II. The previous two recession time elections were in 1948 when Harry Truman won reelection, and in 1980 when Jimmy Carter lost reelection.
Trump faces a true uphill battle when it comes to the election in the midst of this particular recession. That's because this one is projected to be the worst since World War II with the global economy shrinking by 5.2% and the U.S. by 6.1% this year, according to the the World Bank.
CFOs are anticipating a similar downturn in the global economy. Respondents said on average that 7 out of 11 global regions were in decline, the rest were stable. More than 62% said that the pandemic is the greatest external risk factor facing their business while 80% of respondents say the coronavirus will have a negative impact on their business. Only 7.5% percent say it will have a positive effect.
The impact of Covid-19 is the obvious leading factor as to why corporations are deciding to slash jobs. More than half of respondents say they will be decreasing the number of employees over the next 12 months; just under 32% of North America respondents anticipate a reduction in their workforce.