Joe Biden Soars, Everyone Else Stalls

David Catanese  |  U.S. News & World Report


The Associated Press

JOE BIDEN IS SURFING A presidential polling wave that has, at least momentarily, stalled the momentum of the rest of his 2020 Democratic rivals.

The former vice president is capturing 40 percent of the national Democratic primary vote, stretching his lead over second-place Bernie Sanders to 21 points, according to Morning Consult’s weekly tracking survey.

That’s a 4-point improvement over a week and marks his highest percentage in the poll this year. The Vermont senator, meanwhile, has slipped to just 19 percent of the national primary vote, down 8 points since he announced his campaign in February.

Every other candidate is stuck in single digits.

At this point in 2015, Hillary Clinton’s national lead over Sanders was 50 points, though her lead dwindled as the primary season went on – a cautionary tale for how a front-runner can lose trajectory over time. Clinton still ultimately became the 2016 nominee.

But the numbers in the earliest nominating states are even better news for Biden, who officially announced his campaign less than two weeks ago.

Firehouse Strategies, a Republican strategy firm, found Biden holding double-digit leads over his most high-profile rivals in the caucus state of Iowa and the primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina.

In Iowa, Biden tops the field at 35 percent, giving him a 21-point lead over Sanders. In New Hampshire, he’s at 34 percent, for an advantage of 18.5 points over Sanders. South Carolina is clearly Biden’s strongest state. He pulls 48 percent of the vote, producing a commanding 36-point spread. Placing third place in each state was Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana who has become the surprise contender in the early phase of the campaign.

Still, for Biden, the numbers represent a double-digit boost in all three states over the past three months.

Firehouse/0ptimis also asked the 1,695 likely Democratic primary voters across the three states if Biden’s treatment of Anita Hill during the 1991 confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would make them less likely to support him.

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