Poll: Biden leads Dem primary field by 30 points

Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight Is Texas learning to love ObamaCare? Romney warns Trump: Don't interfere with coronavirus relief oversight MORE holds a 30-point lead over Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden struggles to stay in the spotlight MORE (I-Vt.) in the Democratic presidential field, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill, further signaling that the former vice president is cementing his place as the primary contest’s front-runner.

Forty-four percent of Democratic voters surveyed said they are most likely to vote for Biden in the 2020 Democratic primaries. Sanders comes in second place at 14 percent, while Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisIs Texas learning to love ObamaCare? Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus Politicians mourn the death of Bill Withers MORE (D-Calif.) places third with just 9 percent, the poll found. 

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The survey results show a surge for Biden since he launched his presidential campaign last week. A Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey from March pegged his support in the primary field at 35 percent, though at the time he hadn’t yet entered the race.

The poll results are largely in line with other surveys conducted in recent days that show Biden widening his lead in the sprawling Democratic primary field.

“The Biden surge is significant and greater than expected,” Mark PennMark PennPoll: Voters say it's unsafe to hold primary elections amid coronavirus outbreak Cuomo favorability in US hits 45 percent: poll Americans split when rating federal government's response to pandemic: poll MORE, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, said. “His launch was super successful and he has opened up a significant lead.”

Among respondents, 5 percent said they would most likely vote for Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill Democratic senators want probe into change of national stockpile description Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus MORE (D-Mass.), while South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg launches new PAC to aid down-ballot candidates HuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Economists fear slow pace of testing will prolong recession MORE, was picked by 4 percent. Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocrats urge administration to automatically issue coronavirus checks to more people Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus Politicians mourn the death of Bill Withers MORE (D-N.J.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) tied for sixth place at 3 percent. 

When it comes to who voters think has the best chance of beating President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE in the 2020 general election, Biden still has a significant lead, with 40 percent of respondents saying as such. Sanders comes in after the former vice president at 13 percent.

But according to the poll, voters are looking for more than just someone who can defeat Trump. Thirty percent said it was more important to nominate a candidate who shares their positions on the issues, while 26 percent said that the ability to beat Trump was a more important quality in the eventual Democratic nominee.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,536 registered voters was conducted from April 30-May 1. Of that, 259 self-identified Democratic voters were asked about their candidate preference in the party’s primary field.

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.