Poll has Trump beating Biden in 2024 matchup

September 18, 2023
Robert Ayers

A newly released poll has former President Donald Trump beating President Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2024 general election matchup. 

The poll, which was released on Sunday, was conducted by YouGov on behalf of CBS News.

The pollster surveyed "a nationally representative sample of 4,002 U.S. adult residents" during a period from Sept. 12 to Sept. 15, 2023. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

The pollster asked participants a number of questions about the current state of affairs, about Biden and Trump, and about the 2024 election.

Trump is in the lead

Among the questions that participants were asked was who they would vote for in the 2024 general election if the election were to be held today and if the matchup was Trump versus Biden.

Trump came out on top, 50% to 49%. It should be noted that this is within the poll's margin of error. So, theoretically, Biden could be in the lead or Trump could have an even bigger lead than stated.

Most 2024 general election polls have similar results to this question. They tend to have Biden and Trump - their respective parties' clear frontrunners - in a virtual tie. But, it does appear that things are currently trending in Trump's direction.

Real Clear Politics currently has Trump in the lead, on average, by 0.6 percentage points over Biden.

The significance of this is that Trump just took the lead in recent weeks, as the result of recent individual polls that have been in his favor. For many months, Biden maintained a slight lead over Trump. But, Biden's lead is now gone.

More findings

The CBS/YouGov poll also provides a lot of information that may help to explain why it is that Biden is now behind Trump. For one thing, there are the issues of Biden's age and fitness.

The pollster found that only 16% of participants believe that Biden is physically healthy enough to serve as president - that's compared to 43% for Trump. Similarly, only 26% said that Biden has the mental and cognitive health to serve as president, compared to 44% for Trump.

Related to these issues, is the question of whether Biden would be able to complete a second term. Only 34% believe that Biden would be able to do so.

This may be particularly problematic for the Democrats because, if Biden cannot finish his term, then Vice President Kamala Harris - Biden's 2024 running mate - would take over, and Harris's unpopularity is well established. This, by itself, may be enough to dissuade some voters from voting for Biden.

The question going forward is whether the polls will continue to trend in Trump's favor as we move closer to the 2024 presidential election.

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