FSU professor: Debate unlikely to affect presidential race polling

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Fairmont State University professor is not expecting the first debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden to have a significant impact on the candidates’ polling performance.

Trump and Biden will face off for the first time on Tuesday. The debate is taking place at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland.

According to polling website FiveThirtyEight, Biden is forecasted to take 52.8% of votes in the general election contest compared to Trump’s 45.9%. The website notes Biden wins in 78 of 100 simulated outcomes.

Greg Noone, an assistant professor of political science and law, said on Monday’s “MetroNews Talkline” that polls have been more consistent in this year’s presidential election compared to polling from four years ago.

“I know when you say polling, people immediately shutter a little bit,” he said. “The reality of it is I think they fixed a lot of the polling errors from last time. I think the cake is baked. We’re really looking at the last percentage of undecideds.”

Noone said Biden has received a gift from Trump: the president has set low expectations for the Democratic presidential nominee’s performance.

“Donald Trump has spent the last several months setting the bar very, very low, calling him ‘Sleepy Joe’ and saying all of these things about his mental acuity,” Noone said.

“Joe Biden just needs to keep his focus on those undecided, white suburban women, and speak to them about health care. Donald Trump needs to just pound his Supreme Court picks and what he’s done for the federal judiciary in hopes that brings home some of the people that have left him.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace will serve as the debate’s moderator, and topics include the U.S. Supreme Court, the economy, the coronavirus pandemic, the records of both candidates, election integrity and “race and violence in our cities.” The debate will begin at 9 p.m.

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