President Donald Trump polls in a dead heat with a virtually unknown Democratic challenger in a survey of 2020 presidential candidates.
The poll, released by left-leaning Public Policy Polling on Wednesday, showed Trump with 38% support, tied with Rep. John Delaney, a three-term congressman from Maryland who has announced his intention to run for president in 2020. Twenty-four percent of respondents said they were unsure whom they would vote for in such a matchup.
The telephone and online poll surveyed 887 registered voters from August 18 to 21, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
Three years out, the poll isn't particularly predictive of 2020: Delaney is by any standard a long-shot candidate who will likely face a packed Democratic primary field of more recognizable Democratic challengers.
And various polls have shown Trump losing hypothetical matchups to better-known candidates. In the same PPP poll, 51% of people said they'd support former Vice President Joe Biden, compared to just 39% of people who said they'd support Trump in that hypothetical matchup.
Still, the willingness of survey respondents to support a candidate that many likely did not know shows the depth of animosity toward Trump, as well as the willingness by many voters to support any candidate who is not the president.
Delaney is an interesting first candidate to announce any 2020 plans — he's a millionaire pro-business, tough-on-crime former banker who has campaigned on reforming entitlements and raising capital gains taxes. He says he craves bipartisanship compromise, even at the expense of achieving progressive goals.
"I think we're having entirely the wrong conversation," Delaney told Business Insider in an interview earlier this month. "If you go outside federal politics and outside the beltway, if you will, and talk to people about what's really going on in the world about how technology, automation, and global connections are fundamentally changing work, jobs, risk, resources allocation, etc. There's almost no conversation about that at the federal government."
And while his entry into the race struck some Democrats are bizarre, the Maryland congressman said announcing early gave him a head start in introducing himself to voters and raising resources to compete in the Democratic primary.
"I also have never liked the cat-and-mouse games that some politicians play about running: Running, not running, running, when everyone knows they're running," Delaney said. "So my view is — I came to the decision to do it. I'd like to spend a lot of time working to achieve it, and I felt that was the right thing to do to achieve that."
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