Poll: Donald Trump Leads Biden, Harris, Newsom in Hypothetical Matchups

President Donald Trump points to the cheering crowd as he leaves an Independence Day celeb
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Former President Donald Trump holds leads over President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) in hypothetical presidential election matchups, according to an Emerson College poll.

The poll, published Friday, finds that 45 percent of the 1,225 registered voter respondents surveyed support Trump in a race against Biden, who draws 44 percent support. Another eleven percent of poll participants are undecided. Trump’s advantage falls within the ± 2.7 percent credibility interval.

Trump’s slim edge grows by one point when the field widens to include third-party candidates. He leads the pack with 40 percent, followed by Biden at 38 percent and independent candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr. at seven percent. From there, Green Party candidate Jill Stein and independent candidate Cornel West tie at one percent, with another thirteen percent undecided.

Furthermore, a plurality of voters — 45 percent — predict Trump will be the next president, while 42 percent think Biden will be. Another 14 percent say someone else will emerge victorious in November.

Emerson polled hypothetical matchups of Trump with other top Democrats around the country amid national scrutiny of Biden’s mental acuity and age following Special Counsel Robert Hur’s damning report in the Biden classified document case and the president’s disastrous press conference addressing it. They all trail Trump and perform worse than Biden does.

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White House

In a two-way race between Trump and Harris, the 45th president takes 46 percent of the response to Harris’s 43 percent, while 11 percent are undecided.

Newsom performs worse against Trump than Harris does. Of the respondents, 36 percent would back the California governor, versus 46 percent who would vote for Trump. The share of undecided voters in this scenario is 18 percent.

Finally, a hypothetical matchup between Trump and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) finds her trailing the 45th president 33 percent to 45 percent, with 22 percent of voters up for grabs.

Emerson also found Trump has a towering lead over his last remaining opponent for the Republican presidential nomination, former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC). Trump, who has won all four nominating contests thus far, has the support of 77 percent of respondents who plan to vote in their state’s Republican nominating contest. Haley has just thirteen percent, while ten percent are undecided.

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Margo Martin via Storyful

A majority of those who plan to vote in their state’s primary or caucus — 56 percent — want Haley to drop out of the race. Less than one in three want her to continue her quixotic campaign, and thirteen percent do not have an opinion.

The poll was conducted from February 13-14, 2024.


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