Poll: Biden holds 15-point lead in South Carolina

Poll: Biden holds 15-point lead in South Carolina
© Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit MORE holds a wide lead in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary, according to a new survey from the left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling.

The poll shows Biden with 36 percent support in South Carolina, which holds its primary contest on Saturday. He’s trailed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war Congress must address the looming debt crisis MORE (I-Vt.) at 21 percent. 

No other candidate received double-digit support in the survey. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' The Trojan Horse of protectionism Federal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review MORE (D-Mass.) placed third with 8 percent support, while billionaire activist Tom SteyerTom SteyerOvernight Energy: 'Eye of fire,' Exxon lobbyist's comments fuel renewed attacks on oil industry | Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline | More than 75 companies ask Congress to pass clean electricity standard Celebrities push Biden to oppose controversial Minnesota pipeline Six things to watch as California heads for recall election MORE and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership LGBT film festival to premiere documentary about Pete Buttigieg MORE tied for fourth with 8 percent each.


The PPP poll is a welcome sign of momentum for Biden, who has struggled with worse-than-expected showing in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary and a distant second-place finish in the Nevada caucuses. 

His campaign has long cast South Carolina, however, as a firewall for the former vice president; a state where his strong support among black voters will pay off and propel him into Super Tuesday when more than a dozen states hold their primaries.

Most recent polls have shown a tightening race between Biden and Sanders in South Carolina. A CBS News/YouGov survey released on Sunday showed the former vice president’s lead narrowing to just 5 points. And a Winthrop University poll released last week also showed a 5-point race between Biden and Sanders.

In fact, Biden hasn’t led the field by double digits in polling in South Carolina since an East Carolina University poll earlier this month. That poll, however, was conducted entirely before voting in the Democratic nominating contest actually began.

The PPP poll released Monday also shows Biden holding onto his wide support among black voters, who make up roughly 60 percent of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina. The former vice president received 50 percent support among African Americans in the poll, with Sanders in a distant second place at 21 percent.

Warren and Buttigieg registered only 2 percent support among African Americans in the poll, while Klobuchar came in with 1 percent support.

The PPP poll surveyed 866 likely South Carolina Democratic primary voters from Feb. 23-24. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.