Billionaire business mogul Mark Cuban would be competitive in a prospective presidential race against President Donald Trump, according to a new poll.
The poll, set to be released Friday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, suggested that if Cuban were to seek the presidency and be Trump’s Democratic opponent, he would trail the sitting president by a single percentage point. The poll showed Trump with a 41%-to-40% advantage over Cuban in the neck-and-neck race. An additional 19% of respondents said they were unsure whom they’d vote for.
Respondents had mixed feelings about Cuban, with 27% viewing the Dallas Mavericks owner who stars on ABC’s “Shark Tank” favorably. Another 28% held an unfavorable view of him. The largest percentage of respondents (45%) said they were not sure how they felt about Cuban, making him still relatively unknown to a plurality of respondents.
“I think Cuban is pretty competitive given his comparatively low level of name recognition at this point,” Tom Jensen, the director of Public Policy Polling, told Business Insider in an email.
Cuban hinted last week that he may decide to run in the future.
“We will see,” Cuban told Business Insider in an email.
His answer followed a back-and-forth with Trump, who tweeted that he did not believe Cuban was “smart enough” to run for the nation’s highest office.
Cuban said early in the 2016 presidential campaign that he was considering a future White House bid, but he later shot the idea down several times. At the first 2016 presidential debate, in late September, Cuban said there was “no possible way” he’d run.
“There’s just no way,” said Cuban, who became a prominent backer and surrogate for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Are you kidding me?” he added. “There’s just no way that I would put my family through that. Just no chance.”
Trump’s recent Twitter jab at Cuban followed a New York Post story from earlier that day about how the president’s team was planning for his 2020 reelection effort. Sources told the Post that the idea of Cuban seeking the presidency and challenging Trump was the White House’s “biggest fear” because Cuban would have similar outsider appeal to Republicans and independents.
“He’s not a typical candidate,” one insider told the Post. “He appeals to a lot of people the same way Trump did.
“If you believe in the Trump revolution, you can believe a candidate like Mark Cuban could win an election,” the source added. “And Mark is the kind of guy who would drop half a billion dollars of his own money on the race.”
It’s not clear, should Cuban decide to run, whether he would seek an independent bid or attempt to run as a Democrat. He is not registered with a political party. Should he decide to run as a Democrat, which was the assumption PPP included in the question, he would have to make his way through a field likely to be loaded with leading Democratic politicians seeking to defeat Trump. Some of his policy positions also run counter to the party’s platform.
The poll, which was conducted February 21-22, surveyed 941 registered voters.