Joe Biden, the 76-year-old former, longtime United States senator who also served two terms as President Barack Obama’s Vice President, appears to be on cruise control in the early stages of the 2020 Democratic primary campaign, with a new Morning Consult poll released on Wednesday. The poll shows Biden with a massive, 18 percentage-point lead over the second place contender in the 24-candidate field, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders — who is 77 years old.
The new poll, which surveyed a formidable sample of 16,368 Democratic voters between May 20 and May 26 is consistent with every recent poll since Biden officially declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination on April 25. Of 14 national polls since that date, only one — an Emerson College poll released on May 14 — has shown Biden with less than a double-digit lead over Sanders.
In fact, in the Real Clear Politics average of all polls, Biden maintains an 18.4 point lead over Sanders, just fractions of a point off the result found by the Morning Consult survey released Wednesday.
In the 2016 Democratic primary, Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton by 12 percentage points in the overall vote total, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.
No other candidate breaks into double digits in the poll, with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in third place at nine percent, followed by South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and California Senator Kamala Harris in a fourth-place tie at seven percent support from Democratic primary voters.
The poll also broke down the results by race and education level, finding Biden leading by significant margins among both black voters and white voters, regardless of whether they possessed college degrees or not, according to MSNBC polling expert Steve Kornacki via Twitter. But of the four demographic groups, Biden performs best among black voters with college degrees, taking 48 percent of those voters in the poll.
Sanders, on the other hand, finds his highest level of support among white voters without college degrees, with 22 percent support among those voters, compared to 39 percent for Biden.
A poll YouGov poll also released on Wednesday took a somewhat different approach, asking voters to select all candidates for whom they would “consider” voting, rather than simply the one candidate for whom they currently intend to vote.
In the YouGov poll, Warren shows surprising strength with 42 percent of Democratic voters saying that they are considering a vote for her, placing her just three points behind Biden who is being considered by 45 percent of Democratic voters, according to YouGov.
Warren leads among Democratic voters who consider themselves “liberals” in the YouGov survey, according to The Hill. An impressive 53 percent of “liberal” voters say they are considering Warren, with 47 percent considering Sanders, and 45 percent of self-described liberals considering a vote for Biden.