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 BidenFighting a virus with the wrong tools Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing 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 John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools 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 GiulianiCuomo steps into national spotlight with coronavirus fight Hannity offers to help Cuomo in coronavirus response with radio, television shows The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response 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 Devi HarrisHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men 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