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

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Romney: Republicans don't criticize Trump because they fear it will help Warren MORE leads the pack of Democratic presidential candidates, but Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Warren, Yang fight over automation divides experts Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' 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 SandersWarren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' Warren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Ocasio-Cortez says endorsing Sanders early is 'the most authentic decision' she could make MORE (I-Vt.) at 16 percent, both falling slightly from the previous poll.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 Devi HarrisWarren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Kamala Harris reacts to supporter who got tattoo of her handwriting Even with likely Trump impeachment, Democrats face uphill climb to win presidency MORE (D-Calif.) who came in fourth place with 7 percent support in the latest poll. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSunday shows — Mulvaney seeks to tamp down firestorm over quid pro quo comments, Doral decision Buttigieg says he wasn't comfortable with Clinton attack on Gabbard Buttigieg: Trump undermining US credibility 'is going to cost us for years and years' 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 Anthony BookerWarren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Gabbard hits back at 'queen of warmongers' Clinton The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges MORE (D-N.J.), with 3 percent, and former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangWarren, Yang fight over automation divides experts Yang cautions Democrats: Impeachment might not be 'successful' Yang defends Gabbard: She 'deserves much more respect' 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 PennDemocrats' debate divisions open the race to new (or old) faces Polls flash warning signs for Trump on impeachment Public opinion polls show shift toward impeaching Trump 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 John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' 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.