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Biden edges higher atop field of 2020 Democrats: poll

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDC residents jumped at opportunity to pay for meals for National Guardsmen Joe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Biden shouldn't let defeating cancer take a backseat to COVID MORE increased his lead atop a crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates by 2 points, a new poll finds.

Biden now has the support of 33 percent of Democratic primary voters across the nation, according to the Morning Consult survey, 13 points above the next-most popular candidate, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report: Next steps in the Trump impeachment Sanders selling sweatshirts with his famous inauguration pose for charity MORE (I-Vt.)

Rounding out the top five are Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenStudent loan forgiveness would be windfall for dentists, doctors and lawyers OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee MORE (D-Mass.) at 15 percent, followed by Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Senators introduce bill to award Officer Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal An ally in the White House is good for abortion access, but not enough MORE (D-Calif.) at 8 percent and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Biden signs order to require masks on planes and public transportation Senators vet Buttigieg to run Transportation Department MORE at 5 percent, the poll shows.

Among early voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada, Biden maintains a 16-point lead over Sanders, who is followed by Warren, Harris and billionaire Tom SteyerTom SteyerOn The Trail: The political losers of 2020 Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Late donor surges push election spending projections to new heights MORE, according to Morning Consult.

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The results come as Biden’s electability argument is showing signs of weakness, with a survey from Monmouth University on Monday showing the former vice president’s support slipping to below 20 percent. The results mark a double-digit decline from its last poll in June and put him in a three-way tie nationally with Sanders and Warren.

Democrats have cited the poll as evidence Biden isn’t suitable to earn the party’s presidential nomination and isn’t the candidate best equipped to defeat President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE in 2020 — a central focus of the party in choosing a nominee.

The Morning Consult poll surveyed more than 17,300 voters between Aug. 19 and Aug. 25. Its margin of error is 1 percent.