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Poll: Biden leads 2020 Democrats, Warren surges to third behind Sanders

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE leads the pack of Democratic presidential candidates, but Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo MORE (D-Mass.) is on the rise, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.

The survey shows Biden in first place with 32 percent support among Democrats, followed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Biden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal Former Sanders spokesperson: Progressives 'shouldn't lose sight' of struggling Americans during pandemic MORE (I-Vt.) at 16 percent, both falling slightly from the previous poll.

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But Warren isn’t far behind. The new poll pegs her support at 13 percent — a 5-point jump since the last Harvard CAPS/Harris poll was conducted in the wake of the July Democratic presidential debates in Detroit. 

That places her third, replacing Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisOn The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits Biden scolds Republicans for not wearing masks during Capitol attack Biden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs MORE (D-Calif.) who came in fourth place with 7 percent support in the latest poll. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegOn The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits Buttigieg confirmation hearing slated for Thursday James Murdoch predicts 'a reckoning' for media after Capitol riot MORE and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) tied for fifth place with 4 percent support.

Only two other candidates notched above 1 percent in the survey: Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerNCAA tables name, image and likeness vote after DOJ warns of potential antitrust violations Warren and other senators seek investigation into Trump administration resuming federal executions Cory Booker says he has no plans to propose to Rosario Dawson this Christmas MORE (D-N.J.), with 3 percent, and former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang sparks Twitter uproar with pro-bodega video Yang announces run for New York City mayor Yang files to open campaign account for NYC mayor MORE, with 2 percent.

While Biden still holds a comfortable lead over his closest competitors, his support is down 2 points from the last Harvard CAPS/Harris poll. No candidate gained more in the latest survey than Warren, who has been steadily climbing in public polls for months.

“Biden continues in our poll to have a steady lead above his rivals but that lead in the low 30s is no guarantee of the nomination,” Mark PennMark PennHere's why Manchin, Romney and Collins are about to wield serious Senate power Don't allow 'vaccine politics' to delay saving lives  Poll: Majority say Trump should concede MORE, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, said. 

“He has to show some movement soon as others are gaining in excitement and momentum. There may be scores of candidates in the race but only a few of them are getting to double digits.”

Still, Biden remains the candidate that voters see as having the best chance of defeating President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE in 2020. Thirty-six percent of respondents pointed to the vice president as the most formidable challenger to the president, while 13 percent chose Sanders and 8 percent picked Warren. 

The Harvard CAPS/Harris poll surveyed 985 registered Democratic voters from Aug. 26-28. The poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working 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.