Campaign

Poll: Biden holds 15-point lead in South Carolina

Former Vice President Joe Biden 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 Sanders (I-Vt.) at 21 percent. 

No other candidate received double-digit support in the survey. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) placed third with 8 percent support, while billionaire activist Tom Steyer and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg 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.

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