New poll finds Biden leading Dem pack despite accusations

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPresidents and 'presidents' Biden to blast Trump's church photo op in Philadelphia speech Rudy Giuliani calls on Cuomo to remove Bill de Blasio MORE leads the Democratic pack of contenders for the White House despite a week of accusations of improper touching and kissing from seven women, according to a new Hill-HarrisX poll released Monday.

Biden won 28 percent support in the survey, compared to 20 percent for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive things to watch in Tuesday's primaries Nina Turner responds to Cornel West's remarks about George Floyd COVID-19 pandemic will shrink economy by trillion in next decade: CBO MORE (I-Vt.).

Biden, who has yet to formally enter the race, and Sanders were well ahead of the rest of the candidates in the poll of 660 registered voters who identified as Democrats or independents.

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats' virtual convention: report O'Rourke on Texas reopening: 'Dangerous, dumb and weak' Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas) placed third with 8 percent support, while Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenGeorge Floyd's death ramps up the pressure on Biden for a black VP Judd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Vogue's Anna Wintour urges Biden to pick woman of color for VP MORE (D-Mass.) won 7 percent.

Warren was followed by Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris: Trump 'just tear-gassed peaceful protesters for a photo op' Harris, Jeffries question why Manafort, Cohen released while others remain in prison George Floyd's death ramps up the pressure on Biden for a black VP MORE (D-Calif.) with 6 percent and Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSchumer calls on McConnell to schedule vote on law enforcement reform bill before July 4 This week: Senate reconvenes as protests roil nation amid pandemic City leaders, Democratic lawmakers urge Trump to tamp down rhetoric as protests rage across US MORE (D-N.J.) with 4 percent.

Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Here's how Biden can win over the minority vote and the Rust Belt MORE, the Democratic mayor of South Bend, Ind., was named by 3 percent of respondents, while Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBottom line Judd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Vogue's Anna Wintour urges Biden to pick woman of color for VP MORE (D-Minn.) received 3 percent support. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSenate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-N.Y.) had 2 percent. 

Biden enjoyed a strong lead among respondents who identified as Democrats. The former vice president was the top choice of 36 percent of party loyalists compared to Sanders's 19 percent. Harris was the third-most popular choice among Democratic voters with 9 percent.

Sanders was the top choice of voters who identified as independents, with 21 percent support to Biden's 19 percent. O'Rourke was the pick of 10 percent of independent voters, while Warren was named by 9 percent.

"That Bernie Sanders and his scary democratic socialist platform hasn't scared away people who self-identify as independents tells me perhaps there's a lot more left-leaning independents than we discuss generally," Sophia Tesfaye, the deputy politics editor at Salon, said on Monday's broadcast of "What America's Thinking."

"We discuss independents as though they're moderate, more conservative, but there's a lot of disillusioned former Democrats out there," she added.

The survey found something of a gap between older and younger voters, with Biden doing better with the former and Sanders doing better with the latter.

The former vice president led among respondents of all parties across every age group except for those who were between the ages of 18 and 34. Sanders was the top choice of that group, with 21 percent to Biden's 18 percent. 

Among voters of all parties who were between 35 and 49, Biden led with 27 percent support compared to Sanders's 26 percent. O'Rourke was the third-most popular candidate with the group, receiving 12 percent support.

The former vice president was the top choice of 29 percent of respondents between the ages of 50 and 64. No other candidate received double-digit support among the age group aside from Sanders, who had 16 percent support.

Among respondents aged 65 and up, Biden received 30 percent support, while Sanders received 11 percent. Warren was the choice of 10 percent. No other candidate received double-digit support.

"U.S. voters still skew older and that's what gives Biden a lot more traction amongst registered voters and in the general population than what Sanders has," Dritan Nesho, the CEO of HarrisX told "What America's Thinking" host Jamal Simmons.

The latest Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted April 5 and April 6 among 1,000 registered voters with a 95 percent confidence level. The subgroup of Democratic and independent registered voters has a sampling margin of error of 4 percentage points. The full sample has a sampling margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

— Matthew Sheffield