Trump, Biden tied in a dead heat heading into next week’s debate, poll shows

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A new poll shows the former and incumbent presidents tied in a dead heat with just over a week to go before their first head-to-head debate of the 2024 election cycle.

An NPR/PBS News/Marist National Poll released Tuesday shows both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump tied for support at 49%. Trump gains a slight 1% edge, pollsters say, when the survey is limited to those who indicate they will definitely vote this November.

“While Biden has improved his standing among independents, Trump has widened his advantage among white voters,” pollsters wrote.

Biden’s support among independents, once at 42% compared to Trump’s 54%, now stands at 50% against the 45th President’s 48%. Trump’s lead among white votes has jumped from six points to 12 and now stands at 55%, while Biden’s 58% support among non-white voters has jumped about as much, going from an 11% lead over Trump to 18%.

Trump’s recent criminal conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying his business records in the lead up to the 2016 election is to blame for the widening gaps, according to Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion.

“Although the topline results remain largely the same, there are interesting developments under the hood. Since Trump’s guilty verdict in the New York hush money trial, some familiar electoral patterns have re-emerged. Biden’s standing has improved among independent and non-white voters, and Trump has secured greater support among white voters,” Miringoff said.

In a race that includes third-party candidates Robert Kennedy Jr., Jill Stein, Cornel West, and Chase Oliver, Trump again takes the lead by a single point, with Biden losing out the most to other options.

“Trump receives the support of 42% of registered voters nationally to 41% for Biden. Kennedy has 11% to 3% for West, 1% for Stein, and 1% for Oliver. Kennedy pulls similar proportions of support from Biden and Trump supporters. However, West, Stein, and Oliver pull a combined 7% from Biden. Among Trump supporters, only Oliver receives 1%,” pollsters wrote.

According to the poll, most surveyed voters prefer Trump when it comes to handling the economy and immigration, while a majority favor Biden on matters of abortion and “on who would better deal with preserving democracy.” Voters tend to think Biden cares more about the average person than does Trump, according to the poll, but are split on which of the two better represents the U.S. on the world stage.

The poll shows that inflation is the top issue for voters this year, with 30% saying the cost of living is their top concern as they consider a presidential candidate, while preserving democracy comes in second at 29% and immigration third at 18%.

Most voters, according to the poll, are dissatisfied with the pair of major party candidates offered — again — at the top of the ticket.

The first presidential debate will be hosted by CNN on June 27.

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