Trump’s ‘Dream’ Candidate Leads President in Hypothetical Matchup

Support for Biden largely unchanged since November poll
President Donald Trump and his son Eric Trump greet former President Barack Obama, his Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) as they arrive for Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
August 01, 2018 at 12:01 am UTC

Key Takeaways

  • Latest poll found 44% of voters would pick former Vice President Joe Biden, versus 48% who’d vote for an unnamed Democratic candidate if the election were held today.

  • Among Democrats, a generic candidate outperforms Biden by 9 points against Trump.

President Donald Trump recently criticized Joe Biden, calling the former Democratic vice president a “dream” opponent in 2020 who was rescued from “the garbage heap” by former President Barack Obama. But those attacks do not appear to have packed much of a punch.

A July 26-30 Morning Consult/Politico poll, conducted in the wake of Trump’s comments, found a 44 percent plurality of registered voters would vote for Biden if an election were held today, while 37 percent would vote for Trump.

Trump has taunted Biden ahead of a possible matchup, after the two-time presidential candidate said he would decide about a third run by January.

In an interview with CBS News after his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in July, Trump said, “I dream about Biden.”

Biden, who is expected to help campaign for Democrats running in the November midterms, has criticized the president in turn, blasting Trump’s Helsinki press conference with Putin as “beneath the dignity of the Office of the President."

Biden’s latest numbers mark only a slight change – within the poll’s 2-percentage-point margin of error – from the last time Morning Consult/Politico asked voters about the possible contest in November.

Biden’s standing is largely in line with how Trump would stack up against a generic Democrat: Forty-eight percent of voters in the latest survey said they would vote for an unnamed Democratic candidate, compared to 35 percent who said they would vote for Trump.

Among Democrats, a generic candidate would beat out Biden by 9 points, with 89 percent support.

But Biden outperforms another former Obama administration official considering a 2020 bid: about half as many Democrats, or 42 percent, would support former Attorney General Eric Holder against Trump, according to a June 14-18 survey.

A headshot photograph of Eli Yokley
Eli Yokley
U.S. Politics Analyst

Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].

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