Former President Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris in a hypothetical 2024 match-up, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey published in The Hill on Monday. The poll shows that had the elections been held today, Trump would have won it easily both against Biden and Harris.
The results show a Trump victory although his level of support is smaller compared to a presidential faceoff against Harris. The poll, while preliminary, foreshadows difficulties for the Democrats in their bid to reclaim control of the White House in 2024 after retaking it less than two years earlier.
Trump's In Favor
Had the election been held today, 47% of voters would have voted for Trump, while 41% would have voted for Biden. The difference between the two was well within the 12-point margin that indicates the current undecided voter population.
In a poll comparing Trump to Harris, the former president performs even better. Harris received only 38% of the vote, while Trump received 49% of the vote. If Harris were to run against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the Democratic presidential nomination, she would have a stronger chance.
However, even then the victory margin would be extremely narrow. Harris garnered 40% of the vote, a narrow victory over DeSantis's 38% in the poll.
Trump has hinted that he would run for president again, and he remains extremely popular among the GOP's conservative base. While the poll is still early, it foreshadows difficulty for Democrats in their bid to reclaim control of the White House in 2024 after retaking it less than two years earlier.
Tough Time for Democrats
Biden, or whoever becomes the Democratic nominee in 2024, will have plenty of time to create their own records and attack Trump's, which will certainly alter the race's dynamics. Despite the events of January 6, it's a sign that Trump remains a credible presidential contender (at least in the view of many Americans).
However, even if Trump and Biden choose not to run in 2024, Democrats may face some challenges.
Trump's early leads over Harris and Biden, according to Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll, speak more to Biden and his administration's present voter issues than to the former president's popularity.
"That Trump beats them both by a wide margin suggests most Republican nominees once known fully by the public would beat them unless they are able to pivot out of the current nadir in their numbers," Penn told The Hill in a statement.
The hypothetical 2024 GOP primary also measured Trump's strength against members of his own party, and found more of the predicted results: the former president remains securely on top of the field, with a large gap between him and any other plausible rival.
Moreover, in a poll picturing a battle between Trump and several GOP politicians, only Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received double-digit support.
If Trump decides to skip the 2024 election for whatever reason, the race becomes more difficult, with DeSantis taking the lead and Pence trailing by four points, 28% to 24%. Sen. Ted Cruz came in third place, with 10% of the vote.
However, Trump has already expressed his intentions of running in 2024. And if he does so, he has a clear edge over others, the poll shows. The poll shows Trump remains the frontrunner to win the GOP nomination in 2024, with 59% of Republican voters indicating they would back him if he ran again.
Pence and DeSantis are statistically deadlocked for second place, with 11% and 10% of the vote, respectively.