Kamala Harris pulls ahead of Joe in Trump matchup — but Hillary beats them both, poll finds

Updated

A new poll shows Vice President Kamala Harris has a better shot than President Joe Biden at defeating Donald Trump in the 2024 election — but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a slight edge on both Democrats.

The poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Bendixen & Amandi, shows Biden slightly behind Trump, 42 to 43 percent. Meanwhile, Harris has inched past Trump, 42 to 41 percent, as Clinton pulls ahead of the former president, 43 to 41 percent. Of course, while Harris is one of the top alternatives to Biden should he choose to step aside, Clinton hasn’t been seriously discussed as an option.

The survey also found that out of the 86 percent of likely voters who watched at least part of the debate between Biden and Trump in Atlanta on June 27, only 29 percent believe Biden has the stamina and mental capacity needed for another four years in the White House. Sixty-one percent say he doesn’t, according to the poll, which was first shared with Politico.

All told, 33 percent said Biden should carry on as the Democratic nominee and 52 percent said he should bow out.

The poll found that a Clinton-Harris ticket has more support than the current Biden-Harris ticket, beating Trump 43 to 40 percent, four points ahead of the Biden ticket.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris. Clinton leads Trump by two points in new poll (Getty)
Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris. Clinton leads Trump by two points in new poll (Getty)

While voters have strong concerns about Biden’s age and ability to do the job, those worries still haven’t led to a massive lead for Trump, who is saddled with a mountain of political and legal baggage.

The survey appears to show that voters are open to Clinton returning to the national stage even as she’s been largely dismissed as a serious presidential contender following her loss to Trump in 2016. She has also said publicly that she has no plans to run for president again and is backing Biden. At 76, she’s younger than both Biden, 81, and Trump, 78.

Other possible Democratic candidates were also tested in the poll, but it found them behind both Harris and Trump. California Governor Gavin Newsom trails Trump 37 to 40 percent, while Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer fell behind the former president 36 to 40 percent.

The poll, which included 1,000 likely voters and was conducted between July 2 and 6, appears to show a willingness from voters to support a candidate who has been tested on the national and international stage. The survey comes as Democratic elected officials, donors, and activists are pushing Biden to step aside with increasing force.

The president has made clear that he’s not going anywhere, even going so far as to urge any other candidates to announce their campaigns and challenge him at the convention in August.

The poll also found that a ticket with Harris as the presidential nominee and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro as her running mate beats Trump 42 to 40 percent. If Whitmer steps in as the VP pick, the poll found the Harris-led ticket losing by 39 to 41 percent.

Another question included in the survey was whether voters would back Biden even if he was unlikely to finish his next term because of an age-related impairment simply to stop Trump from winning. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they wouldn’t back Biden for that reason while 44 percent said they would. Seventy-five percent of Democrats said they would back Biden even under those circumstances.

Both Biden and White House officials have pointed to Biden’s busy travel schedule and a cold as reasons for his poor performance in the recent debate against Trump. The administration has said that there’s no reason for the president to undergo a cognitive exam.

In the poll, 53 percent said they view Trump as a danger to democracy, with 37 percent stating that such comments are partisan.

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