A new poll reveals Joe Biden at the top of the Democratic field, but Bernie Sanders is sliding while Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are gaining for second place.
According to the new Monmouth University Poll:
Among a field of 24 contenders, Biden currently has the support of 33% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters. This marks a small increase since he entered the race, from 27% in April and 28% in March. The rest of the field is tightly grouped below the clear front-runner position. Sanders has the support of 15% of Democratic-identifiers, which represents a decline over the past few months from 25% in March and 20% in April. Harris has 11% support, similar to 8% in April and 10% in March.Warren stands at 10%, compared to 6% in April and 8% in March.
Other candidates receiving support in the poll include South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6% (8% in April and less than 1% in March), O’Rourke at 4% (4% in April and 6% in March), and Klobuchar at 3% (1% in April and 3% in March).
Less than half of the Democratic voters in the poll live in one of the states that will cast ballots in the 2020 nomination process by Super Tuesday. Among these early state voters, Biden maintains his lead, but by a much slimmer margin – 26% support compared to 14% for Sanders and 14% for Harris. Warren follows at 9% with Buttigieg at 6% and Klobuchar at 5%.
A key metric at this point in the 2020 cycle is candidate favorability. The poll finds small but notable shifts for three female contenders since last month. Warren is known to 88% of Democratic voters, which is consistent with prior polls. However, she currently receives a +46 net rating of 60% favorable to 14% unfavorable, which is up significantly from her +32 rating in April (51% to 19%).Warren’s gains have come disproportionately from Democratic men (59%-15% in May compared with 46%-25% in April) and non-white voters (53%-12% in May compared with 37%-20% in April).
Harris is known to 82% of Democratic voters, which is consistent with prior polls.She currently receives a +49 net rating of 58% favorable to 9% unfavorable, which is up somewhat from her +40 rating in April (50% to 10%). Harris’ gains have come disproportionately from non-liberals (51%-11% in May compared with 39%-14% in April) and Democrats without a college degree (53%-10% in May compared with 42%-12% in April).
Voters are slowly gaining interest in the Democratic primary. The polls are still in their infancy, but Joe Biden continues to be the steady presence at the top of the field. The big story is that Bernie Sanders has lost ten points of support in the past two months, and Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren are in striking distance of passing him.
As Sanders struggles with the same problems that plagued his 2016 campaign, Sen. Warren has been able to take support away from him by being a progressive Democrat. Sen. Harris is making her gains with more centrist voters and non-college educated Democrats. Harris and Warren on the rise. The fundamental dynamic of this primary is shifting candidates like Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke could be left in the dust.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association