Poll: Third-Party Candidate Could Doom Biden in 2024

June 22, 2023

A far-left candidate could cause President Joe Biden to lose reelection in 2024 to former president Donald Trump, according to an Emerson College poll released Thursday.

If third-party candidate Cornel West, a socialist professor who supports reparations and extensive wealth redistribution, gets on the ballot, he would only receive 6 percent of the vote, the poll found. That would be enough to hurt Biden, however, causing the president's vote share to drop from 44 percent to 40 percent. Trump, meanwhile, would take 41 percent of the vote.

Fifteen percent of black voters and 13 percent of voters under 35 support West's candidacy, according to the poll, which also found that Biden's disapproval rating has increased 2 points since April.

The findings will likely add to Democrats' fears that West will siphon votes away from Biden. Politico reported early this month that party members were already worried about a third-party candidacy, noting that "many Democrats feel that the Green Party's Jill Stein siphoned votes from Hillary Clinton in 2016."

West, whose website touts his support for universal health care, universal student loan cancellation, drug decriminalization, an end to "mass incarceration," and the disbanding of NATO, originally said that he is running for the nomination of the small People's Party. He announced last week that he is also seeking the Green Party's nomination, "in the spirit of a broad United Front and coalition strategy."

While the People's Party only has ballot access in one state, the Green Party in 2020 was on the ballot in 31 states and territories, according to former Green candidate Howie Hawkins. That number could increase in 2024.

The Emerson College poll also found that Trump's lead in the Republican primary has slipped slightly. Since April, Trump's support has decreased by 3 points. Support for his closest rival, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, has increased by 5 points.