KEY POINTS

  • Among the respondents, 61% said Biden will be better at solving issues of race and policing
  • 62% said Biden will do a better job of uniting the United States 
  • 53% of voters said Biden will be better at establishing law and order compared to Trump

Joe Biden's lead over President Donald Trump as America's choice for a POTUS who can best handle the COVID-19 pandemic while bringing about racial justice has ballooned to 22 points.

Both these issues are on the top of every American's mind in an environment immersed daily by news about the COVID-19 pandemic and street protests demanding racial justice and end to police brutality against minorities. The poll found COVID-19 as the top issue on voters’ minds followed by race relations. The latest Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll finds more voters saying Biden will be better at establishing law and order compared to Trump.

The poll’s major findings vis-à-vis these two key issues:

* 61% of voters said Biden will be better at solving issues of race and policing, a 22 percentage point lead over Trump, who was selected by 39% of respondents

* 62% said Biden will do a better job of uniting the United States after weeks of protests over the death of George Floyd on May 25

* 53% of voters said Biden will do better at establishing law and order -- or be a better "law and order president" -- compared to 47% for Trump

* 53% opposed Trump’s handling of the protests

* 43% approved of the job Trump was doing about race relations and policing

* 59% of voters said racism is systematic and pervasive in the U.S. 

* 60% have a favorable view of the police

* 55% have a favorable view Black Lives Matter

“Biden did very well on being someone who could bring the country together compared to President Trump and so Trump’s overall response, despite support for the guard and even the military, has fallen short as his numbers have definitely declined,” said Mark Penn, polling director for the Harvard CAPS-Harris survey.

According to the survey, cops enjoyed high support despite charges of police brutality and calls to defund police forces. The poll found almost two-thirds of voters believe police mostly operate fairly and are unbiased. It revealed 73% of white folk feel this way. In stark contrast, 70% of Black Americans say police are biased and operate unfairly.

Among the respondents, 56% agreed police misconduct against Black Americans was fairly common. Whites are evenly split on this question. On the other hand, 85% of Black Americans said it's common.

More than 72% said police shouldn't be defunded while 28% said funding should be increased.

A man holds a picture of George Floyd during a Black Lives Matter protest in New York City A man holds a picture of George Floyd during a Black Lives Matter protest in New York City Photo: GETTY IMAGES / Jeenah Moon