A new poll shows Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders close to overtaking Joe Biden nationally as the race for the Democratic presidential nomination heats up.
The former vice president has fallen 13 points from last month to 19 percent support among registered Democrats, while Sanders and Warren have risen six and five points respectively to reach 20 percent support, according to the latest Monmouth University poll. While his one-point deficit is well within the poll’s margin of error, it marks a startling moment for Biden, who held a double digit lead over his competition in recent polls and has long been the race’s front-runner.
Senator Kamala Harris polls behind the top three at 8 percent, followed by Senator Cory Booker and South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg at 4 percent. Andrew Yang is polling at 3 percent, and Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke, and Marianne Williamson are all tied at 2 percent.
Biden’s discouraging numbers, due mostly to a slip in support among moderate and conservative Democrats, come after he assured supporters that he is “not going nuts” as media coverage of his verbal gaffes continues to plague his campaign.
Meanwhile, 58 percent of Democratic voters say it is important to them that the nominee support Medicare for All, while Biden instead supports enhancing the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s signature legislative achievement.
“Biden’s drop in support is coming disproportionately from later states that have less impact on the process. But if this trend continues it could spell trouble for him in the early states if it undermines his claim to being the most electable candidate,” said poll director Patrick Murray. “This could benefit someone like Harris, who remains competitive in the early states and could use a strong showing there to propel her into the top tier. Based on the current data, though, Warren looks like the candidate with the greatest momentum right now.”
The poll surveyed 298 registered voters who lean Democrat from August 16 to 20, and has a 5.7 percentage point margin of error.