The sexual assault scandal involving presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appears to be having an impact on the 2020 race.
A new Morning Consult poll determined that the allegation by former Senate aide Tara Reade “appears to be taking a toll on the former vice president’s popularity.”
The survey conducted between May 4 and May 10 found Biden’s favorability numbers among registered voters had dropped since the same question was asked between April 20 and April 26.
Both Biden and Reade speak out
As the Morning Consult poll explained, “the share who view him favorably minus the share who view him unfavorably” fell by five percentage points.
Of the nearly 28,000 respondents, “48 percent of voters view Biden unfavorably, compared with 43 percent who have positive views of the former vice president,” the pollsters reported.
Additionally, the research found that Biden’s popularity among women similarly fell during the same period.
Reade’s allegations have gained more media attention in recent weeks, which included a public statement in which Biden vehemently denied her claims. The poll showing lower favorability numbers was conducted after Biden’s remarks.
His accuser has also publicly commented, including in an interview with former Fox News Channel and NBC host Megyn Kelly. Reade took the opportunity to double down on her original claims and called on Biden to drop out of the presidential race.
Biden still leads Trump nationally
Despite the recent drop in favorability, the Morning Consult determined that Biden remains in better shape than the incumbent for now.
“Biden is still more popular than President Donald Trump, whom 44 percent of voters view favorably and 53 percent view unfavorably,” the report continued.
When asked to select between the two candidates, respondents picked Biden over Trump by a 45-42 margin.
With an electoral college deciding the winner, however, much of the focus by both campaigns remains on battleground states. One Ohio poll released this week by Emerson College and Nexstar Media found Trump leading Biden in that state by three percentage points.
Even though many polls still show Biden ahead of Trump on a national level, the 2016 election proved how little such polls truly matter on Election Day. It also remains to be seen whether the former vice president will even retain those leads as the Reade controversy continues to play out.