(The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2024 match-up, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill on Monday.
If the 2024 presidential election were held right now, the poll finds Trump getting 47 percent support compared to 41 percent for Biden. Twelve percent of voters are undecided.
Vice President Harris performs even worse in a hypothetical match-up with Trump. Forty-nine percent said they would choose Trump, while 38 percent said they would support Harris.
The poll, while very early, portends trouble for Democrats in their 2024 effort to maintain control of the White House after taking it back less than two years ago. Trump has repeatedly hinted that he’s considering another bid for the presidency and remains deeply popular among the GOP’s conservative base.
Even if Trump and Biden choose not to run in 2024, Democrats may face some challenges. The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey found Harris leading Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a current favorite for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, by a scant 2-point margin.
In that scenario, Harris takes 40 percent support to DeSantis’s 38 percent support.
Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey, said that Trump’s early leads over both Harris and Biden speak less to the former president’s popularity and more to Biden and his administration’s current challenges with voters.
The poll found Biden’s current approval at just 39 percent, while majorities of respondents said that both the U.S. economy and the country as a whole are on the wrong track.
“I would not give a lot of weight to trial heats right now other than they reflect the weakness of Biden and the administration right now,” Penn said. “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.”
Trump remains the favorite for the 2024 GOP nod, with 59 percent of Republican voters saying they would support him should he take another shot at the White House. Former Vice President Mike Pence and DeSantis are statistically tied for second place, garnering 11 percent and 10 percent support, respectively.
In the event that Trump doesn’t run again, however, DeSantis supplants Pence as the favorite. In that scenario, 28 percent of Republican voters say they would back DeSantis, while 24 percent say they would support Pence.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is the only other would-be Republican candidate to score double-digits in the poll. Ten percent of GOP voters say they would choose him, according to the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey.
The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey of 1,990 registered voters was conducted on March 23-24. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll.
The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.