Nearly 60 per cent of US voters would back independent candidate over Biden or Trump, poll finds

Mr Trump holds a slight edge over Mr Biden in a hypothetical 2024 rematch

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Tuesday 26 April 2022 17:36 BST
<p>Donald Trump and Joe Biden harangue each other at their first debate in 2020</p>

Donald Trump and Joe Biden harangue each other at their first debate in 2020

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A moderate independent or third-party presidential candidate could garner support from nearly six in ten Americans if voters are faced with a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election.

According to a newly-released survey of 1,966 registered voters conducted by Harvard University’s Centre for American Political Studies and Harris Poll, 58 per cent of respondents — including 47 per cent of Republicans, 60 per cent of Democrats, and 71 per cent of registered independents — said they would consider a “moderate independent candidate” in the 2024 election if faced with a repeat of the choice they were presented with in November 2020.

The poll, which was conducted on 21 and 22 April, also found that clear majorities of respondents say neither Mr Biden nor Mr Trump should mount bids for a second term in the White House.

Sixty-three percent of voters — 86 per cent of Republicans and 34 per cent of Democrats — said Mr Biden should eschew a re-election campaign, while 55 per cent of respondents, including 32 per cent of Republicans, 71 per cent of Democrats and 62 per cent of independents, said Mr Trump should not be a candidate for president in 2024.

Yet in a hypothetical matchup between the two men, Mr Trump holds a two-point edge over Mr Biden, with 45 per cent of respondents telling pollsters they’d return the twice-impeached ex-president to the White House for a second term to Mr Biden’s 43 per cent, and with 12 per cent unsure of who they’d choose.

Mr Trump would also prevail in a hypothetical matchup with Vice President Kamala Harris, 47 per cent to 41 per cent.

But the survey also found Ms Harris would prevail over the next most likely GOP nominee, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, by a margin of 42 per cent to 38 per cent, with 20 per cent of voters unsure of who they’d choose.

Mr Biden would handily best all comers in a hypothetical Democratic primary with 37 per cent of Democrats saying they’d pick him as the party’s nominee if made to choose right now. Only 14 per cent would pick Ms Harris, but the Vice President would top the list of choices if Mr Biden were to decline to run for a second term.

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