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Poll: Biden leads Dem primary field by 30 points

Joe Biden holds a 30-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (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 Harris (D-Calif.) places third with just 9 percent, the poll found. 

{mosads}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 Penn, 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 Warren (D-Mass.), while South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, was picked by 4 percent. Sen. Cory Booker (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 Trump 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.

Tags 2020 election Bernie Sanders Bernie Sanders Cory Booker Democratic primary Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Harris Poll Joe Biden Joe Biden Mark Penn Pete Buttigieg
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