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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 ObamaShould there be a 'Secretary of Thought'? Obamas to attend Biden inauguration Michelle Obama slams Trump, rioters at Capitol: 'They desecrated the center of American government' MORE tied with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits 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 Sanders'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Biden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal Former Sanders spokesperson: Progressives 'shouldn't lose sight' of struggling Americans during pandemic MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisOn The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits Biden scolds Republicans for not wearing masks during Capitol attack Biden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo 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 BookerNCAA tables name, image and likeness vote after DOJ warns of potential antitrust violations Warren and other senators seek investigation into Trump administration resuming federal executions Cory Booker says he has no plans to propose to Rosario Dawson this Christmas MORE (D-N.J.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharGoogle completes Fitbit acquisition Hillicon Valley: Fringe social networks boosted after Capitol attack | Planned protests spark fears of violence in Trump's final days | Election security efforts likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress US Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots MORE (D-Minn.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBiden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs Streamlining the process of prior authorization for medical and surgical procedures Top Democrat pushes for tying unemployment insurance to economic conditions 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 ClintonMillennials and the great reckoning on race Biden chooses Amanda Gorman as youngest known inaugural poet Can Biden encompass the opposition he embodied? 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