Joe Biden Rides High As Elizabeth Warren Kneecaps Bernie Sanders

Former vice president Joe Biden continues to ride high and maintain his lead, while the presence of Sen. Elizabeth Warren is adding to the struggles of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The latest Morning Consult Political Intelligence: The State Of The Democratic Primary survey found Joe Biden leading at 38% followed by Sanders at 20%. Elizabeth Warren is third at 9%. Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg are tied for fourth at 7%. Beto O’Rourke is fifth at 4%, and Cory Booker is sixth at 3%. In the early voting states, Biden leads 42%-20% over Sanders. Buttigieg and Warren are tied for third (7%) Kamala Harris is fourth (5%). Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker are tied for fifth (3%).

Joe Biden is the top second choice of all of the significant Democratic candidates, with the exception of Elizabeth Warren, whose supporters favor Sanders. As a second choice, Warren supporters favor Bernie Sanders (22%), Kamala Harris (21%), and then Joe Biden (17%). A sizable chunk of the progressive voters who went to Bernie Sanders by default in 2016 are supporting Elizabeth Warren in 2020.

The support for Warren and Sanders combined still isn’t enough to catch Joe Biden. There is a ceiling on Bernie Sanders support in 2020 that is being caused by the popularity of Biden, and presence of Elizabeth Warren in the race.

The rest of the field is static. With Democrats imposing stricter criteria for the third primary debate in September, the candidates listed above are likely to be on the stage in the fall.

Joe Biden is keeping a light schedule, but his momentum remains strong. Bernie Sanders has both a Biden and an Elizabeth Warren problem, and the rest of the candidates outside of Harris and Buttigieg are just trying to break through and hit double-digit support.

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