Former Vice President Joe Biden would lead President Donald Trump in a 2020 general election, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
Only 35 percent of voters would choose to reelect Trump in 2020, the poll shows — substantially fewer than the 46 percent who would vote instead for Biden, who said Monday that he is “not closing the door” on a third attempt at the presidency in 2020. One in 5 voters are undecided.
Biden’s 11-point margin is actually smaller than the poll’s previous question, in which voters are asked whether they will vote to reelect Trump, or for a generic Democrat. The generic Democrat leads Trump, 48 percent to 34 percent, the poll shows.
“Former Vice President Joe Biden has the upper hand in a hypothetical matchup against President Donald Trump, but he underperforms compared with a generic Democrat,” said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research . “Notably, 86% of Democrats say they would vote for a generic Democrat over Trump, but only 78% of Democrats say they prefer Biden over Trump.”
Independent voters tilt away from the incumbent: 41 percent would vote for Biden, and 26 percent for Trump.
POLITICO reported last week that Biden has, in recent months, “shifted unmistakably in favor of running” for president in 2020. And the former vice president and Delaware senator has been on a media blitz to promote a new book, “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose,” which was released Tuesday.
That book describes coping with the death of his son Beau Biden, a former Delaware state attorney general, in May 2015. Joe Biden cited his son’s death less than five months later in declining to mount a 2016 presidential bid.
In one of a series of TV interviews with NBC News personalities on Monday, Biden was asked by Megyn Kelly about challenging Trump’s electoral base.
“The critics will say you are too old — you are going to be 77 in 2020. You wouldn’t have any new ideas,” Kelly said. “You have already run twice and lost. You would have to promise it would be one term only, and that the blue-collar Rust Belters, who you would need to get elected, already love Donald Trump.”
“They love me more,” Biden shot back. “But they are right about all the first parts, correct. I am not sure I can overcome the front end, but I understand the Rust Belt. Donald Trump has no notion of what those people are going through.”
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll found Biden has a 9-point lead in the Midwest, 45 percent to 36 percent — roughly equal to his national advantage. The two candidates run neck-and-neck with white voters, with Biden at 41 percent and Trump at 40 percent. And Biden is only slightly behind Trump among white voters without a college degree, 37 percent to 41 percent.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted November 9-11, surveying 1,993 registered voters. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.