Poll: Warren leads Biden by 15 points in Massachusetts

Poll: Warren leads Biden by 15 points in Massachusetts
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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.) has a 15-point lead in the Massachusetts Democratic presidential primary race as she flexes her political muscles in her home state, according to a new WBUR poll.

Thirty-three percent of likely primary voters surveyed said they intend to support Warren, while 18 percent said they would back 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 and 13 percent said they plan to vote for 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.).

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No other candidate breaks double-digits in the poll, but 15 percent of likely primary voters said they either did not know who they would support or refused to answer the question. 

The poll marks an improvement for Warren, who was virtually tied with Biden in a Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll in September. She is also buoyed in the new survey by a net-positive favorability rating, with 67 percent of likely primary voters saying they have a favorable view of her while only 18 percent say they have an unfavorable opinion.

"Elizabeth Warren, across the country, has been climbing steadily, and we see the results of that in this poll," said Steve Koczela, president of the MassINC Polling Group, which conducts surveys for WBUR. "Yes, [Massachusetts] is her home state, but she's also climbed from where she was in September."

But in a warning sign for Warren, the “Medicare for All” plan she supports appears to be unpopular among Democratic primary voters in Massachusetts. Only 28 percent said they think it is the best approach to health care in America, while 44 percent said keeping the current system and offering Medicare as a health plan for everyone who wants to buy it would be the best option. 

"Medicare for All who Want It" is also the most popular choice among all Massachusetts voters.

Health care has emerged as a chief fault line in the Democratic primary, with several candidates pouncing on Warren in last week’s debate after she dodged questions as to whether she would raise taxes on the middle class to pay for the plan, only saying that overall costs would decline for middle-class families.

"Your signature, senator, is to have a plan for everything, except this," said 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. "No plan has been laid out to explain how a multitrillion-dollar hole in this Medicare for All plan that Sen. Warren is putting forward is supposed to get filled in." 

Warren said last weekend that she will soon be releasing a plan outlining how she will finance the “Medicare for All” health care proposal. 

“I plan over the next few weeks to put out a plan that talks about, specifically, the cost of Medicare for all and, specifically, how we pay for it,” Warren said at a campaign rally in Indianola, Iowa.

The WBUR poll surveyed 456 likely Massachusetts primary voters from Oct. 16-20 and has a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.