With the general election 13 months away, a rematch between President Biden and former President Trump looks very likely. Most recently, hypothetical general election polls have shown the race pretty even, with most polls showing Biden and Trump either tied or one or the other candidate winning by only a few points.
Polls Push Joe Biden Ahead
One new poll, however, is especially good news for President Biden.
According to a new poll from the University of Virginia’s Center For Politics, Biden is winning by 52 percent to 48 percent over Trump. Neither candidate, however, is particularly popular, with 40 percent approving of Biden and 39 percent approving of Trump.
The Real Clear Politics average of recent polls — which does not include the Center for Politics poll — has Trump leading by 0.4 percent, although the two polls before that, from Economist/YouGov and Morning Consult, showed Biden ahead by 1 and 2 points, respectively.
Independent in the Mix
Another poll this week looked at how the switch of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., to an independent candidacy might affect the race.
“An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey of 1,218 registered voters, conducted on October 11, found that Biden narrowly beats Trump—the two presumptuous Democratic and GOP presidential candidates—in a hypothetical head-to-head by 49 to 46 percent,” Newsweek said of that poll this week.
“However, when Kennedy is introduced in the poll as a third candidate, Biden’s lead over Trump increases by seven points (44 to 37 percent), with Kennedy getting the support of 16 percent of voters. With Kennedy in the race, Biden’s support falls five points among Democrats, whereas Trump loses 10 points among Republicans.”
Kennedy, part of one of the country’s most prominent Democratic families, has been running a Democratic primary campaign against President Biden, which gained little traction. This was partially because the Democratic National Committee fully backed Biden, but also because Kennedy – best known in recent years as an anti-vaccine activist – was drawing more support from the right than from the left.
“Today, I declared myself an independent candidate for President of the United States of America,” Kennedy said in a speech at Philadelphia’s Independence Mall last week. “And more than that, I joined my voice with all the people who are fed up and all the people who are hopeful, to make a new Declaration of Independence for our entire nation.”
Other third-party candidates are running in 2024, including academic Cornel West, who was running as a Green Party candidate but has since gone fully independent. And the centrist group known as No Labels is considering fielding a candidate of its own. Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, the group’s chairman, and former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan are involved with that effort, although neither has committed to running for president.
Earlier this month, Biden this week addressed the No Labels effort, calling it a “mistake.”
“Well, he has a democratic right to do it. There’s no reason not to do that. Now, it’s going to help the other guy. And he knows,” Biden said of Lieberman, the former Senator who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, but eight years later endorsed Republican candidate John McCain. “That’s a political decision he’s making that I obviously think is a mistake. But he has a right to do that.”
Lieberman has announced that No Labels plans to hold a nominating convention in Dallas next April.
“Right now, we’re focused first on what’s most important: On getting on the ballot with a third line in all 50 states that we will then offer and give to a bipartisan unity ticket,” Lieberman told Politico in August. “Our plan is to only run if we think we have a chance to win realistically.”
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.