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More voters would pick Trump over Biden if election were held today: poll

More voters would back former President Trump than President Biden in a hypothetical match-up if the 2024 election were held today, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill.

Forty-eight percent of voters in the survey said they would back Trump, compared with 45 percent for Biden. Another 8 percent were unsure.

The results were evenly split at 46 percent among women, while men backed Trump by a margin of 50 percent to 43 percent. Biden won urban voters by 20 percentage points and suburban voters by 4 percentage points, but Trump romped among rural voters by 33 percentage points.

The poll comes as Biden plays defense on a slate of issues, including inflation, stubbornly high rates of coronavirus infections and the messy withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Democrats have sought to rebut criticism by highlighting rising job growth and an intense vaccination push while arguing Republicans are downplaying the need for Americans to get inoculated.

Should Trump run, he would likely skate to the 2024 GOP nomination, according to the poll.

Trump holds a gargantuan lead over any other potential GOP contender. Sixty-seven percent of Republican voters would back the former president, with former Vice President Mike Pence coming in second with 9 percent and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis coming in third with 8 percent.

The poll is largely in line with other surveys that have suggested Trump is a shoo-in for the Republican nomination if he wages a third White House bid in 2024. 

"The collapse of Biden has led to a surge for President Trump on all fronts both in the GOP primary and in a potential general election," said pollster Mark Penn.

Biden defeated Trump by about 7 million votes in 2020, or roughly 4 percentage points. He won largely because of narrow victories in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all of which Trump had taken in 2016.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey of 1,989 registered voters was conducted from Nov. 30 through Dec. 2. 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.

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