Meh. The 11-point margin here will inspire lots of chatter but it’s out of whack with other recent polls, which have Biden leading by five points or so. Quinnipiac also has Trump’s job approval at a limp 42/53 whereas the three previous national polls taken this week placed him at 46 percent, much closer to the margin he’d need to win in November.

Still, there are reasons to take note of this. The last Quinnipiac poll taken, in April, placed his approval rating at 45/51, which was in line with other pollsters at the time. If they were right then, they could be right now.

Plus there’s this:

Quinnipiac has the race Biden 50, Trump 39 today. Thirty-nine is a garish number for a sitting president, and facially plausible given the double-barreled virus/economy challenge Trump is facing right now. But no other recent polls have him that low. He was at 40 percent in a poll in late April but has touched 45, 46, and even 47 percent in other surveys over the last two weeks. Biden isn’t at 50 percent in most recent polling either; usually he’s in the high 40s, on the cusp of a majority but not quite there. The ominous thing for Trump is that he hasn’t led in any national poll since mid-February, before the pandemic began.

One possible response to that is: Who cares? He’s winning in the states that matter, at least according to CNN. (State polling averages say differently.) The national polls mean nothing.

But that’s not entirely true. If Biden leads *big* nationally, it’ll spill over into the swing states. Trump can get to 270 if he loses the popular vote narrowly. He’s done it before, after all. If he gets blitzed, nope. Quinnipiac thinks he’s getting blitzed.

Two numbers jump out there. One is Biden’s tepid showing among Hispanics, a group that broke 65/29 for Hillary. That’s been identified as a trouble spot for him before, and here it is in neon lights. It’s hard to believe he can win the election with a seven-point lead on Trump among that group, never mind winning it going away. On the other hand, check out senior citizens once again tilting towards the Democrat over Trump, a trend that’s been spotted in other polling this spring. Trump won seniors by eight points in 2016. We’re seeing an 18-point swing here.

My hunch has been that seniors have soured on him because of his handling of the pandemic. But the data here shows seniors are no more likely to disapprove of his performance than other groups despite the special threat to them from COVID-19, although the fact that a Republican-leaning group like them disapproves of him is news in itself, I suppose. His overall numbers are … not great:

Men are evenly split on whom they prefer to handle the virus. Women prefer Biden by 31 points. A separate question finds Trump’s overall approval on handling the pandemic at 41/56, with seniors only slightly more likely than the total population to say that he’s doing a good job (44/53).

Here’s another result that caught my eye. I wrote this morning that one reason some white working-class voters may be flipping from Trump in 2016 to Biden now is that Biden does a good job communicating empathy whereas Trump, ah, does not. Obama clearly did a better job in 2012 of showing empathy for the working class than Mitt Romney, particularly per his comments about “the 47 percent” late in the campaign. Trump did a better job communicating empathy for the working class in 2016 than Clinton did by pushing protectionist policies that would repatriate jobs. What about this year?

Here’s how Trumps stacks up on empathy:

If you’re wondering how Biden could be leading Trump among voters 65 and over, there’s a clue. Biden is +34 among seniors here. Trump is -11. What’s also noteworthy, though, is how well Biden fares among groups that typically strongly favor Trump. Republicans and Democrats are mirror images on whether Trump cares about average Americans but not so when it comes to Biden. Even 30 percent of GOPers say he cares. Likewise for whites without a college degree, Trump’s base. They give the president high marks for caring about average Americans — but a plurality says the same about Biden. Among whites generally, a GOP cohort, more find Biden caring than Trump.

When Quinnipiac put this same question to voters in September 2016 about Hillary Clinton, they split 53/46 on whether she cared about average Americans. Among the 65+ group, the split was 49/50. Among whites without a college degree it was 44/55. Among whites generally, 48/51. Put differently, Biden is no Hillary Clinton. That doesn’t mean he’s going to win this fall — Trump still stands a real chance, says Harry Enten, looking back at the recent history of presidential polling at this stage of the campaign. But he’s probably the favorite in the election.

I’ll leave you with one more point from the Quinnipiac data courtesy of Josh Barro. His numbers are correct. The coronavirus relief funds must be doing their job.