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CNN  — 

First things first: The theme song of the week is The Nanny.

Poll of the week: A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden at 53% to President Donald Trump’s 42% nationally among registered voters.

Biden’s advantage is similar in other polls out this past week: Fox News poll (Biden by 7 points) and Monmouth University (Biden by 10 points). The average of all polls puts Biden above 50% and ahead by 8 to 10 points, depending on how you exactly average.

What’s the point: Biden’s lead has been about as stable as they come. Since the beginning of June, he’s been up by around 8 to 10 points. We’ll see whether the convention period, that begins tomorrow, alters the race.

For now though, we can say Biden’s doing better than any challenger heading into the major party conventions since scientific polling began.

In the 13 previous elections in which an incumbent was running for another term, no challenger has ever been at or above 50% in the polls at this point in the campaign. The closest were Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Thomas Dewey in 1948. Carter was at about 49%, while Dewey came in at between 48% and 49%.

Most challengers were not even near that mark. The average opponent to the incumbent comes in at a mere 38% since 1940. Biden is nearly 15 points higher than that at this time.

Of course, It’s not just that Biden is scoring a higher percentage of the vote. It’s that he is ahead by a significant margin. Again, the only two challengers who were ahead outside the margin of error at this point were Carter in 1976 and Dewey in 1948.

The average challenger has been down about 10 points just before the conventions. Biden’s up by about that much.

Trump, on the other hand, is in a historically weak position. Four other incumbents were polling at or below Trump’s current level (George H. W. Bush in 1992, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Gerald Ford in 1976 and Harry Truman in 1948). Just Truman was re-elected.

Unlike Truman though, Trump’s net approval rating (approve - disapprove) is in the negative double digits. That makes Trump more like Bush and Carter than like Truman, whose net approval rating was only slightly negative.

View 2020 presidential election polling

Now, just because Biden is ahead by a lot at this point does not necessarily mean his lead will hold. Conventions can create a lot of tumult in the presidential race, and 2020 has already been full of unusual events.

Still, Biden’s edge probably means more than usual. As I noted yesterday, convention bounces have been getting smaller over the years and the conventions will be scaled back this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, as I mentioned above, the polls have been really stable. Stabler polls usually are a lead indicator that the convention bounces will be smaller.

But perhaps more importantly is why the polls simply haven’t moved very much during this campaign.

Both candidates are very well known. When asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable view of Trump, well north of 70% of voters have either a strongly positive (favorable) or negative (unfavorable) opinion of him – the highest on record by far. More than 50% say the same for Biden in an average of polls, which is the highest on record for a challenger.

When I pointed out the phenomenon of two well known candidates in early May, Biden’s lead was 6 points nationally. Biden has received a small bump in the polls since that time, though one is very small by historical standards.

Indeed, there isn’t a whole lot about this race that isn’t historic. From Biden’s lead to the candidates not being able to go out and campaign as usual, the 2020 election has been surreal. We’ll have to see if it has another surprise or two left in it.