While more than two-thirds of all likely U.S. voters say presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden should debate President Donald Trump, Democrat and Republican voters strongly disagree on whether or not the former vice president is up to the task, a new Rasmussen survey finds.
The national poll of 1,000 voters, conducted July 9 and 12, 2020, finds that 68% think it’s either “very important” (51%) or “somewhat important” (17%) for Biden to debate Trump in at least one televised event this Fall. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans and 64% of Democrats said it's at least somewhat important that Biden agree to debate Trump.
When asked if Biden if Biden is capable of debating Trump, just 54% said he is:
“Is Joe Biden Capable of Debating Donald Trump?”
- Yes: 54%
- No: 36%
- Not Sure: 11%
But, while 77% of Democrat voters said Biden is capable of debating Trump, 59% of Republicans said he’s not. Just 32% of Republican voters think Biden is up to the challenge, with 9% saying they’re unsure.
Asked if it would “help or hurt Biden's candidacy if he refused to debate Trump,” six times as many likely voters said it would hurt (56%) Biden as said it would help (9%). Twenty-nine percent said it would have no impact, while 6% were “not sure.”
However, less than half (47%) of Democrat voters said they think refusing to debate would hurt Biden, compared to 62% of Republicans.