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Poll shows Biden leads Democrats vying for 2020 nomination

Poll shows Biden leads Democrats vying for 2020 nomination
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE leads the pack of Democrats vying for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.

Biden has not announced yet whether he will run for the White House. Still, 37 percent of Democratic voters pointed to the former vice president as their top choice, the poll found.

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The findings suggest that, if he enters the 2020 contest, Biden would be an early front-runner in a Democratic field that already includes more than a dozen candidates.

He’s almost certain to enter the race, sources familiar with Biden’s plans told The Hill this month, and has been privately making the case to donors that he would be the strongest candidate to take on President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE.

Trailing in second place in the survey at 22 percent is Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC Zombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers Progressives threaten to block bipartisan infrastructure proposal MORE (I-Vt.), who announced his second bid for the White House last week. He’s followed by Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisDemocrats learn hard truths about Capitol breach Harris calls for pathway to citizenship for Dreamers on DACA anniversary Abbott says he'll solicit public donations for border wall MORE (D-Calif.), who came in at 10 percent among Democratic voters in the poll.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who is considering a 2020 bid, came in at 6 percent in the survey, while Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC On The Money: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process on Wednesday | Four states emerge as test case for cutting off jobless benefits Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory BookerZombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers Rand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why Absences force Senate to punt vote on Biden nominee MORE (D-N.J.) came in at 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

“While Biden weighs his decision, the Democratic voters are saying they would welcome him in the race and he has a significant edge to start,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey.

“Sanders is the only other candidate who starts out with significant support and if Biden does not get in, it will be a free for all,” Penn added. “If he does get in, he will likely face the most attacks from others.”

Even if Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC Hillary Clinton backs Manhattan DA candidate in first endorsement of year NSA leaker Reality Winner released from federal prison MORE, the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, enters the 2020 contest, Biden would still have about 30 percent support among Democratic voters, the poll found. Likewise, Sanders would remain in second, with 19 percent.

Clinton is not expected to enter next year’s primary contest, and most Democratic voters surveyed — 70 percent — said they do not think she’ll mount another bid for the White House.

When factored into the primary field, Clinton took just 10 percent support, according to the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey, the same as Harris.

Thirteen percent said that they are not sure who they will vote for when Clinton is added to the field. Without her, that number drops slightly to 10 percent, the survey found.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,792 registered voters was conducted from Feb. 19 to 20. The partisan breakdown is 37 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, 29 percent independent and 2 percent other.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will work with Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll throughout 2019.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.