Though former vice president Joe Biden wasn’t celebrated as a clear-cut winner in the latest round of Democratic presidential debates, the experienced politician is confidently maintaining his frontrunner status, according to a new poll.
According to The Hill, a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll revealed that Biden holds a staggering two-to-one lead over his closest competitor, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The survey has Biden at 34 percent, which is double Sanders’ 17 percent.
Rounding out the top five Democratic candidates were California Sen. Kamala Harris, who now holds third place with 9 percent, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 8 percent, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 4 percent.
The poll was conducted between July 31 and August 1 and was a survey among 585 registered Democratic voters. It’s worth noting that because of the dates of the survey, some of the respondents may not have witnessed Biden’s second debate performance.
Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, explained that despite Biden’s “rocky performances” in the debates so far, he has remained a steady candidate with whom Democratic voters are comfortable.
“The Democratic voters are far more in sync with Biden’s views than any of the other candidates running. He maintains his front-runner status,” Penn said.
Even though Biden maintains a comfortable lead in the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, his numbers are actually down from a poll conducted before the first debate, in which he held an astonishing 30-point lead over Sanders with 44 percent support from Democratic voters.
The poll also solidified confidence among Democratic voters that, at this point, Biden has the best chance of beating President Donald Trump in 2020, with 46 percent support from respondents.
When asked the same question about Sanders, only 15 percent of registered Democratic voters believed the Vermont senator was best suited to defeat Trump.
The numbers for Warren and Harris were 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
Biden also led the poll at 46 percent when voters were asked to name the top three candidates with whom they share values. Sanders scored 34 percent.
Not surprisingly, 45 percent of respondents said that health care was the top issue heading into the election. Immigration and the economy were right behind at 29 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
— John Anzalone (@JohnAnzo) August 2, 2019
In contrast to some of his Democratic rivals, Biden is leaning on improving aspects of his former boss’ health care plan, which known as the Affordable Health Care Act 2.0, according to Politico.
The frontrunner was attacked by his opponents on the debate stage for his health care vision, especially by those who are pushing versions of the Medicare for All plan.
Biden said after the debate that he was surprised by the number of attacks on Obama’s original healthcare plan, according to CBS News.
“I was a little surprised at how much incoming there was about Barack, about the president… I don’t think there’s anything that he has to apologize for. It kind of surprised me the degree of the criticism,” Biden told reporters.