Sanders leads Democratic field in Colorado poll

The Democratic presidential primary contest in Colorado is neck and neck, with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE (I-Vt.) edging out former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE by less than 1 point, according to a new Emerson poll released Tuesday.

Sanders, who won Colorado’s Democratic caucuses in 2016, tops the field with 26 percent support among Democratic primary voters in Colorado, the survey found, while Biden trails closely behind with 25 percent. Sen Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE (D-Mass.) scored a close third, receiving 20 percent support in the poll. 

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In fourth place is Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE (D-Calif.), who notched 13 percent in the Emerson poll. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul Buttigieg2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE rounds out the top five candidates with 5 percent support in the Centennial State.

Among 18- to 29-year-olds, Sanders has the most significant support, scoring 42 percent support among the demographic. But he also performed well among 30- to 49-year-olds, 34 percent of whom pointed to the Vermont senator as their top choice.

Biden saw his best results among those over age 65, taking 43 percent support. 

Sanders also appears to be holding on to many of the primary voters who cast their ballots for him in the 2016 Democratic nominating contest. Fifty-three percent of those voters said they still support him in the 2020 contest, while 24 percent now say they back Warren, 9 percent support Biden and 3 percent are with Harris.

Among those who voted for Clinton in the 2016 Colorado primary, however, 45 percent are now backing Biden. Warren takes second among those voters with 21 percent support, while 14 percent back Harris and 4 percent support Sanders, the Emerson poll found.

Still, those outcomes could change in the coming months. Voting in the state is more than six months away, and 64 percent of the Democratic respondents to the Emerson survey said there’s still a chance that they could change their candidate preference ahead of the primary.

The nominating contest in Colorado is also set to undergo a major change in 2020. The state will hold a primary instead of a caucus for the first time in more than a decade, a development stemming from a 2016 vote to abandon the caucus system and allow all voters to participate in party primaries.

The Emerson poll surveyed 403 Democratic primary voters in Colorado from Aug. 16 to 19. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.