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Poll: 40 percent of Democrats say candidates should be discussing Hunter Biden

Forty percent of Democratic voters said in a new Hill-HarrisX poll that 2020 candidates should be discussing the business dealings of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenIntercept bureau chief: minimum wage was not 'high priority' for Biden in COVID-19 relief South Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Obama alum Seth Harris to serve as Biden labor adviser: report MORE’s son, Hunter Biden.

The survey, released just hours before the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate, found that 64 percent of Republicans also said Hunter Biden’s business ventures in Ukraine should be a campaign focus. Fifty-four percent of independents agreed.

Respondents overall were almost evenly split on the issue.

Fifty-two percent said Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine should be discussed, while 48 percent said it wasn’t an important campaign issue.

The survey comes amid increased scrutiny of Hunter Biden’s various business dealings.

In an interview with ABC News that aired Tuesday morning, Hunter Biden said he made a mistake by getting involved with foreign companies before considering the political implications. But he maintained that he did not engage in any wrongdoing.

"I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father,” he told the network. “That's where I made the mistake.”

Hunter Biden also took aim at President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE and his allies, who have seized on his business dealings to paint the Biden family as corrupt.

“What I regret is not taking into account that there would be a Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani again suspended from YouTube over false election claims Sacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Biden administration buys 100,000 doses of Lilly antibody drug MORE and a president of the United States that would be listening to this ridiculous conspiracy idea,” he said.

The interview came just hours before the fourth Democratic debate in Ohio, where Joe Biden will take center stage.

Biden's fellow White House hopefuls have largely avoided speaking critically about Hunter Biden.

"Mr. President, telling lies about Joe Biden won't protect you from the truth," Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisElla Emhoff, inauguration designer join forces on knitwear collaboration Who is the Senate parliamentarian and why is she important? In America, women are frontliners of change MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted earlier this month. "Joe has more patriotism in his pinky finger than you'll ever have."

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted online among 1,001 registered voters. The margin of error for the full sampling is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn