CNBC News Releases

Biden Leads by Greatest Margin Yet Nationally According to CNBC/Change Research “States of Play” Poll

Latest Results Revealed on CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith" Tonight

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., October 5, 2020 – CNBC and Change Research today announced the results of their latest joint "States of Play" poll, conducted October 2– October 4.

The poll finds that Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden leads by 10 points among likely national voters (52% for Biden vs. 42% for Trump), the greatest margin for him yet in the history of the "States of Play" poll. Biden continues to lead by 5 points in the six major battleground states (Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin), and is earning at least half of the vote in five of the six states. Additionally, Biden is becoming increasingly popular among likely battleground voters, with 48% favorable and 49% unfavorable. These numbers are up considerably since May when voters were +19 net unfavorable.

CNBC and Change Research polled more than 2,600 likely general election voters from the six previously noted battleground states, as well as over 2,100 likely general election voters nationally, to determine economic sentiment amongst voters. Additional key findings from the most recent CNBC/Change Research "States of Play" poll include:

  • Following the news of President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis late last week, 52% of likely battleground voters had "very" or "somewhat serious concerns" about the President's health, with only about two-in-ten likely voters expressing "very serious concerns."
  • When it comes to how President Trump has protected himself from exposure to coronavirus, 39% of likely battleground voters say he has personally taken appropriate precautions.
  • 75% of likely voters in the battleground say Joe Biden has personally taken appropriate precautions to prevent himself from being exposed to the coronavirus.
  • There has been a small increase in the number of respondents expressing serious concerns about the coronavirus over the past two weeks as rates rise across the country.
  • 72% of likely battleground voters have serious concerns about the coronavirus (49% very serious concerns), up from 65% two weeks ago.
  • 54% of likely voters in the battleground continue to disapprove of President Trump's handling of COVID-19, with more strongly disapproving.
  • A 53% majority of likely battleground voters also continue to say that Biden and Democrats would do a better job handling COVID-19.
  • As a growing number of people in President Trump's orbit test positive, 68% of likely battleground voters believe that White House staff, lawmakers, and other officials who have recently come into contact with the President should quarantine for the next two weeks, as recommended by CDC guidelines.
  • 96% of Democrats, 68% of independents, and 39% of Republicans believe officials should quarantine for the next two weeks.
  • 24% of Republicans say officials should not be quarantining right now.
  • A 51% majority of likely voters in the battleground say that the Supreme Court nomination hearings should be delayed so all of the lawmakers who have been exposed to the President and his staff recently can quarantine, as recommended by CDC guidelines.
  • 44% in the battleground say they should not delay the proceedings in order to obey CDC guidelines and protect Senators.
  • With the recent exposure to the coronavirus within the White House, 38% of likely battleground voters believe the VP debate should be a virtual format to ensure the safety of the candidates, while 44% do not want the debate to be virtual.
  • Democrats are the most likely to prefer a virtual debate (61% in the battleground) while 76% of Republicans say the venue should not be changed, and independents are split 39% virtual, 39% in person.

Results of the CNBC/Change Research "States of Play Poll" were revealed on CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith" (M-F, 7PM-8PM ET) today, Monday, October 5. Additional coverage from the poll's findings will air throughout CNBC's Business Day programming and on CNBC Digital on Wednesday, October 7 and Thursday, October 8.


Between October 2-4, 2020, Change Research surveyed 2,167 likely general election voters nationally and 2,688 likely general election voters in the battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The margin of error as traditionally calculated among the national sample is ±2.11% and among the battleground sample is ±1.89%. Change Research reaches voters via targeted online ads that point people to an online survey instrument. Its Dynamic Online Sampling establishes and continuously rebalances advertising targets across region, age, gender, race, and partisanship to dynamically deliver large samples that accurately reflect the demographics of a population. In the national survey and the survey of battleground states, post-stratification was done on gender, age, region, education, race, and 2016 presidential vote.

For additional methodological information, visit

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