Home U.S. The polls finally catch up with the news, and still show Trump...

The polls finally catch up with the news, and still show Trump trailing.

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In the never-ending news cycle that is the 2020 presidential campaign, the polls have lagged behind. But for a moment on Thursday, before the candidates’ dueling televised town halls, the polls caught up, and they painted a clear picture: President Trump is trailing badly, even though negative developments like his performance at the first debate with Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his coronavirus hospitalization are well in the rearview mirror.

National polls released on Thursday showed Mr. Biden up by an average of more than 10 points. The most favorable one for Mr. Trump found him down by eight points. That would have been an above-average result for Mr. Biden just a few weeks ago.

Nor were there signs of improvement on the horizon for the president. The venerable NBC/WSJ poll did show Mr. Biden’s lead dropping from 14 points, right after the Sept. 29 debate, to 11 points. But that previous result looked as if it was running pretty hot for Mr. Biden, and it’s a lot easier to interpret the new result as expected movement back toward the overall average, rather than as an actual shift toward Mr. Trump.

At the start of this week, it had seemed like the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings might offer the president a positive news cycle. Instead, we’ve gone yet another week without much evidence that the president’s standing has improved. With no immediate signs that last night’s town halls provided a big bump for Mr. Trump, he doesn’t have many opportunities left.

Polls of individual states were a little more encouraging for the president than his national numbers. In Arizona, for instance, two new polls found Mr. Biden ahead by four points and one found Mr. Trump ahead by one point. Some previous polls had shown Mr. Biden farther ahead in Arizona. But in several other swing states, Mr. Biden continues to retain comfortable leads.

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