Poll finds Trump beating Biden by 7 points, DeSantis tying president in matchup

Former President Trump leads President Biden by a 7-point margin in a new survey shared Friday with The Hill from Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll.

Separately, the poll found Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) deadlocked in a tie when those surveyed were asked who they preferred in a head-to-head matchup.

The results coupled together point to the apparent strength of Trump in the GOP primary as DeSantis gets set to enter the race, as early as next week. Trump had led DeSantis in a number of polls of GOP voters by double digits.

DeSantis has made the case that he is the stronger general election candidate to face Biden, but the new poll raises questions on whether that’s the case.

The survey found 47 percent of respondents said they would vote for Trump if the 2024 election was today and Trump and Biden were the political parties’ respective candidates. Forty percent backed Biden, while 13 percent said they did not know or were unsure.

Forty-two percent of respondents picked Biden and and equal percentage picked DeSantis in that matchup. Sixteen percent said they did not know or were unsure.

In another potential sign of concern for Democrats, Biden barely edged out former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley in a matchup, receiving 40 percent support to Haley’s 38 percent.

“DeSantis is announcing in a much more difficult environment than a few months ago, but most voters believe he can still mount a serious challenge,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll.

“Seems as though [Trump] vs. Alan Bragg or CNN is a [favorable] match to him. Let’s see how the primary develops with [Republican] opponents like [DeSantis] or Scott,” he added.

The polling comes as Trump is still widely seen as the Republican front-runner to take on Biden next year. DeSantis, who has not yet officially announced a White House bid but is expected to soon, is seen as Trump’s chief rival and generally polls in second place.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey was conducted May 17-18 and surveyed 2,004 registered voters. 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.

This story was updated at 5:23 p.m.

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