Poll: Biden leads Democratic field by 12 points, Warren narrowly tops Sanders

Poll: Biden leads Democratic field by 12 points, Warren narrowly tops Sanders
© Aaron Schwartz

Joe BidenJoe BidenJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE leads the crowded Democratic presidential primary field by 12 points in a new poll, while Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted MORE (D-Mass.) edges out Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Krystal Ball tears into 'Never Trump' Republicans 2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MORE (I-Vt.) by 1 point, continuing her recent boost in support.

The former vice president is the first choice for 26 percent of Democratic voters who said they will vote in their state’s primary or caucus next year, while 14 percent backed Warren and 13 percent voiced support for Sanders, according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll.

No other candidate breaks double digits in the question.

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Biden leads all other Democrats in nearly every demographic group, running up margins of over 20 points among black and Hispanic voters and voters over the age of 65.

The demographic that does not say Biden is their first choice is younger voters aged 18-29, who say they prefer Sanders over the former vice president by a 22 percent to 11 percent margin. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul Buttigieg2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE (D) also garnered 11 percent support among younger voters in the poll.

Biden is buoyed by a net-positive favorability rating, with 40 percent of adults saying they have a very or somewhat favorable view of him, and 34 percent saying the have a very or somewhat unfavorable opinion of him. Another 16 percent are not sure what they think of him.

The poll was conducted before Biden sparked outrage from several Democratic rivals this week after touting his working relationship with two Democratic segregationists during his time in the Senate.

“At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished,” Biden said of former Sens. James O. Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.) at a Tuesday night fundraiser.

Biden on Wednesday defended himself, saying he had nothing to apologize for but that he “detested what they stood for in terms of segregation and all the rest.”

The former vice president has established himself as the crowded primary pack’s pacesetter, topping every poll since his April campaign launch and hauling in millions of dollars in donations. 

Thursday’s survey also marks another sign that Warren is gaining support on Sanders as the two battle for the progressive mantle in the nominating contest. She has enjoyed a recent surge in support, attracting positive attention from the media and activists over her detailed policy proposals.

The YouGov/Economist poll surveyed 1,500 adults, of which 1,202 were registered voters, from June 16-18 and has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points for all adults and 2.9 percentage points for voters.