Kamala Harris leads major Biden alternatives in polls – here’s how the top replacements are polling

World News

President Joe Biden’s shaky debate performance last week has provoked calls for the 81-year-old to drop his reelection bid over concerns about his mental acuity, leading to several names being floated as potential replacements who would take on former President Donald Trump in November.
President Biden Holds Campaign Rally In Philadelphia

Biden has not indicated he intends to drop out. Kamala Harris leads the contenders to replace Biden if he steps down. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

Key Facts
  • Vice President Kamala Harris (45%) trails Trump (47%) by two points in a CNN/SRRS poll—a smaller deficit compared to Biden’s six-point shortfall behind Trump in the same poll.
  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (42%), who has starkly pushed against the idea of replacing Biden, according to Politico, is five points behind Trump (47%) in the poll.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (43%), who has commonly been floated as a Biden replacement despite turning down rumors of a “shadow campaign” for the White House, polls five points behind Trump (48%), according to the poll.
  • Secretary of Transportation and former 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (43%) trails Trump (47%) by four points in the CNN/SRRS poll.
  • At 44%, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., a former presidential candidate who ran against Biden in 2019, also sits two points behind Trump (46%), albeit in a poll from progressive think tank Data for Progress.
  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (43%) expressed support for Biden after his debate performance and is behind Trump (46%) by three percentage points in a Data for Progress poll.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., another familiar face to voters, polls three points behind Trump in the Data for Progress poll, with Klobuchar capturing 43% support compared to Trump’s 46%.
Surprising Fact

Former First Lady Michelle Obama leads Trump by a whopping 11 points in an Ipsos poll—50% to 39%—though her office told NBC News in March she will not be running for president this year. That mark is immensely stronger than any other Democrat’s The poll shows Biden in a 40%-40% tie with Trump—the former president leads all other possible Democratic candidates.

Big Number

66%. That is about the percentage of registered voters who are uncertain of Biden’s mental fitness following last week’s debate, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll of 2,090 registered voters conducted between Friday and Sunday.

Key Background

Concerns and criticisms around Biden’s mental acuity have been common throughout his run for president. However, scrutiny around the president’s mental fitness accelerated after his debate with Trump last week in which he repeatedly misspoke or lost his train of thought, doing so with a gravelly voice his campaign attributed to a cold only after the debate was over.

Biden has not entertained any calls for him to step down despite some coming from Democratic figures like Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, who urged Biden to withdraw from the presidential race Tuesday. A drop out from Biden would create an unprecedented process at the Democratic National Convention in August. Trump leads Biden by an average of 1.6 points in national polls, according to FiveThirtyEight.

This article first appeared on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

Are you – or is someone you know -creating the next Afterpay or Canva? Nominations are open for Forbes Australia’s first 30 under 30 list. Entries close midnight, July 15, 2024.

Look back on the week that was with hand-picked articles from Australia and around the world. Sign up to the Forbes Australia newsletter here or become a member here.

More from Forbes Australia