New poll shows Biden narrowly leading Trump – except when a third-party candidate is factored in

A new nationwide poll of voters shows President Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in a head-to-head matchup but narrowly trailing his once-and-future opponent when third-party candidates are included on the ballot.

The survey, released on Wednesday by Quinnipiac University, shows Mr Biden leading Mr Trump by three percentage points, 48 per cent to 45 per cent, but trailing him 39 per cent to 38 per cent when independent candidate Robert Kenendy Jr and Green Party candidate Dr Jill Stein are included in the running.

Mr Trump lost the popular vote in both of his bids for the White House; a win among voters nationally would represent a major change in his fortunes.

The former president is once again his party’s presumed nominee, though this time he is running for the presidency while under the shadow of 91 felony counts stemming from his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and his handling of classified materials, as well as hush money payments to a porn star.

Mr Biden is running for a second term with voters harbouring historic concerns about his age and fitness for duty; he also bears the burden of a sluggish battle against inflation which has left many Americans still hurting at the grocery store and the gas pump.

The survey results, which have the two candidates within the margin of error, are just the latest in a long line of polls indicating that the 2024 race is neck-and-neck, while also revealing the strength of independent candidates.

Quinnipiac’s data will likely raise a few alarm bells at Biden-Harris campaign HQ, where the president’s supporters continue to urge the left to coalesce around the president given the future a second Trump term in the White House could lead to.

But it could also invigorate the president’s critics on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party who have argued that Mr Biden needs to do more to inspire voters for his re-election bid — or, in some cases, to earn their votes specifically.

The poll included responses from 1,407 registered voters across the US between 21-25 March. The margin of error for the data was 2.6 percentage points.