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Michelle Obama would be tied with Biden as frontrunner if she ran in 2020, poll shows

Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama releases her voting playlist Obama to young voters: Create 'a new normal in America' by voting for Biden Obama hits trail to help Biden, protect legacy MORE tied with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska Jeff Daniels narrates new Biden campaign ad for Michigan MORE as the top choice among Democratic voters when asked who should be the party's nominee in 2020.

A Hill-HarrisX poll released Tuesday found that 25 percent of Democrats said they would back Obama in the party primary over nine other declared or potential candidates, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersIntercept bureau chief says congressional progressives looking to become stronger force in 2021 Obama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden pushes into Trump territory The Hill's Campaign Report: One week from Election Day | Biden looks to expand map | Trump trails narrowly in Florida, Arizona The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - One week out, where the Trump, Biden race stands MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Dems want hearing on DOD role on coronavirus vaccine | US and India sign data-sharing pact | American citizen kidnapped in Niger Conservative operatives Wohl, Burkman charged in Ohio over false robocalls Senate Democrats want hearing on Pentagon vaccine effort MORE (D-Mass.), and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas).

Obama has said she is not running, and Biden has not announced whether he will launch another White House bid.

Harris came in third among Democratic voters, with 12 percent saying they would support her. Sanders was a close fourth, at 11 percent. O’Rourke, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Warren, and Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Obama endorses Espy in Mississippi Senate race Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority MORE (D-N.J.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharStart focusing on veterans' health before they enlist Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (D-Minn.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBrown says Biden's first moves as president should be COVID relief, voting rights Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE (D-Ohio) all failed to exceed 6 percent.

Biden and Obama garnered 23 percent and 22 percent, respectively, when factoring in independent voters, who are allowed to vote in many state primary elections.

When combining Democratic and independent voters, Sanders received 12 percent, followed by 8 percent for Harris.

Molly Murphy, a partner at Democratic consulting firm ALG Research, said Obama's popularity is helped in large part because she has never thrown her hat into the ring.

"Because she's never been a candidate, she's never been on the ballot, she's avoided a certain degree of scrutiny that candidates face. And so she's all icing for people, it's all good," Murphy said Tuesday on "What America's Thinking," Hill.TV's show about public opinion and polling.

In the Hill-HarrisX poll, 12 percent of independents and Democrats combined said they preferred another candidate, beyond the choices that were offered, suggesting some dissatisfaction among non-Republican voters with the field of declared and potential candidates.

A November Hill-HarrisX poll found that 14 percent of Democratic respondents picked "none of the above" when asked to choose between Warren, Biden, Sanders, Booker, Harris, Bloomberg and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGorsuch rejects Minnesota Republican's request to delay House race Biden leads Trump by 6 points in Nevada: poll The Memo: Women could cost Trump reelection MORE.

Obama's surprise appearance at the Grammy awards this month promoted some speculation about a possible 2020 bid. In December, the former first lady said that she had "never" considered a political career and that she had no intention of running for office.

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted Feb. 17-18 among a nationally representative sample of registered voters. The overall survey has a sampling margin of error of 3 percentage points.

The group of Democratic respondents has a sampling margin of error of 5 percentage points, and the Democratic and independent set has a sampling margin of error of 4 percentage points.

—Matthew Sheffield