Biden's lead shrinks in South Carolina poll

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE has an 11-point lead over the next closest contender in South Carolina, but recent gains by Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Gabbard, Buttigieg battle over use of military in Mexico MORE (D) have cut into his advantage, according to a new poll.

The latest Post and Courier survey finds Biden on top of the crowded Democratic field in the Palmetto State at 30 percent support, followed by Warren at 19 percent, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (I-Vt.) at 13 percent, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisFive takeaways from the Democratic debate Gabbard, Buttigieg battle over use of military in Mexico Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE (D-Calif.) at 11 percent and Buttigieg at 9 percent.

Biden is down 6 points over the same poll from August, while Warren has moved up 2 points and Buttigieg has gained 4 points since August.

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In May, Biden led the next closest contender by 31 points. That advantage dipped to 20 points in June, 19 points in August and now 11 in October.

Biden is running near the top in the three other early voting states as well, but South Carolina is viewed by many as his firewall, as he continues to lead the field among black voters, who make up about two-thirds of the Democratic primary electorate in the state.

But the Post and Courier survey found that Biden’s decline in South Carolina has largely been driven by African American women. Biden has lost 13 points month-over-month among that important voting bloc, and he has lost 10 points among women overall.

The Post and Courier-Change Research survey of 731 likely Democratic primary voters in South Carolina was conducted between Oct. 15 and Oct. 21 and has a 3.6 percentage point margin of error.