52% of People Who Didn't Vote in 2016 Say They're Voting in 2020 for Biden

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden appears on stage after Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris spoke during the third night of the Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware on August 19, 2020. Win McNamee/Getty

A new poll shows that former Vice President Biden has a large advantage over President Donald Trump in November's election among those who sat out the 2016 election.

Preliminary data was released Wednesday from a national tracking poll by the University of Southern California (USC) Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. It found that 52 percent of those who did not vote in 2016, but plan on voting in 2020, are backing Biden, compared to 32 percent for Trump. A further 16 percent said they would vote for a third-party candidate.

The poll also found that Biden has an 11 percent lead over Trump among all voters. The early results use a probability-based model, one of three methods that will be included when the full poll results are released later this month.

The other methods include one that asks participants how they believe those in their social circles and state will vote and another that includes third party and "undecided" options when respondents are asked for their vote "if the election were held today."

Biden's overall lead was said to be larger when respondents were asked the question about how they would vote "if the election were held today," although it was not revealed by how much. His lead was said to be smaller when respondents were asked how they believe their social circle would vote, while it shrunk to "single digits" when they were asked how their state would vote.

Respondents included many of those who took part in an earlier version of the same poll in 2016. It found that 88 percent of those who voted for Trump in 2016 plan on supporting him again, while 9 percent say they will vote for Biden and another 4 chose a different candidate.

Among those who voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 92 percent support Biden, while 4 percent each said they would vote for a different candidate or Trump. It also found that 41 percent of 2016 third party voters support Biden, compared to 30 percent for Trump and 28 percent for a different candidate.

The early results come from a sampling of 1,510 eligible voters online from August 11 to August 16. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percent. The full poll will include 6,000 participants surveyed daily in groups of about 430 up until the election, being continuously updated.

"This is the election of a lifetime," USC political science professor Robert Shrum said in a statement. "By polling thousands of people and polling every night, our tracking will give us a real-time read on the shifting direction of the presidential and congressional races."

Newsweek reached out to the Trump and Biden campaigns for comment.