Barack Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden has a commanding lead over the rest of the field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates in Michigan, according to a new poll.
The Emerson College poll shows Biden leading all announced and unannounced candidates by a large margin. In fact he has a 17 percent lead over the second place finisher, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
— Emerson Polling (@EmersonPolling) March 10, 2019
Biden received the backing of 40 percent of registered Michigan voters who participated in the new survey. This is an unusually large number given that respondents were asked to choose among 14 different candidates, including “someone else.”
Sanders came in a distant second with 23 percent of Michigan voters supporting the Vermont senator who ran a very strong presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Ironically, Biden has not yet formally announced that he will be running for the White House next year. It is widely assumed, however, that he will enter the 2020 Democratic race by the end of this month.
Michigan is seen as a key state for Democrats in 2020, given that Donald Trump won it by just 10,000 votes in the 2016 presidential election.
Behind the two elderly white male frontrunners came two younger women: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) with 12 percent of the vote and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with 11 percent.
None of the other candidates received more than 5 percent support among Michigan Democrats, the poll found.
If Biden does not enter the race for the 2020 nomination, many of his supporters would move to Sanders. According to the poll, 42 percent of registered Michigan Democratic voters would cast their primary ballots for Sanders if Biden doesn’t run.
Sanders is followed by Harris with 23 percent and Warren with 18 percent.
Sanders scored an upset victory over eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Michigan Primary, beating the former First Lady by one percentage point.
The Emerson poll also showed each of the top Democratic candidates beating Trump in Michigan in a potential 2020 matchup.
Biden would defeat Trump by the widest margin, according to the poll, with 54 percent of the vote to Trump’s 46 percent.
When Trump won Michigan in 2016 it was the first time the state had gone for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984.