Joe Biden had a tough week. Women came forward to allege they felt uncomfortable with his past space-invading, and the so-called “Creepy Uncle Joe” memes hit the Internet anew. He became fodder for Saturday Night Live, which, as Sarah Palin can tell you, has the power to define a candidate in a way that sticks.
However, a new Democratic candidate poll from Morning Consult shows that voters on the left have not soured on the former vice president. Rather, Biden enjoys a comfortable lead, with Senator Bernie Sanders a strong second. The poll, which was taken April 1-7, 2019, did show a tick downward in Biden’s favorability ratings, however.
For comparison purposes, here’s how the candidates stacked up on March 19, 2019.
Here’s what you need to know:
Biden’s Favorability Has Softened But He’s Still Very Popular With Democrats
The bad headlines have come at some cost, but Joe Biden remains very popular with Democrats.
“Biden’s favorability has softened in recent weeks –the percentage of Democratic primary voters with a very favorable opinion of him has dropped 10 points over the last month,” Morning Consult reports.
Still, Biden and Bernie Sanders remain pretty wildly popular with Democratic voters, as each is seen in a favorable light by 75% and 74%, respectively. No other Democratic primary candidate has more than a 53 percent favorable rating. However, some of the other candidates are simply not known yet by a swath of primary voters on the left.
According to Morning Consult, the pollster surveyed “over 5,000 registered voters across the United States on the 2020 presidential election.”
Here are some of the key findings in the most recent poll:
- Biden’s support has remained pretty steadily over 30% (or just under it) since January 2019 – and he’s not even an announced candidate yet. He’s never not been Democratic primary voters’ first choice since then. “Joe Biden’s first place standing holds amid scrutiny over his conduct with women. His support among all Democratic primary voters dropped by one point, and increased by one point among early primary state voters –both negligible shifts within the margin of error,” the pollsters say.
- Bernie Sanders has never relinquished (nor climbed above) his second-place berth.
- Kamala Harris places third, but her support has declined since February 2019.
- The other candidates, including Beto O’Rourke (despite his media buzz), haven’t made much of a dent.
- However, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is seeing a slight uptick in support (but still hovers around 5 percent.) The pollsters say that marks “his third straight week of growth.”
Voters were also asked their second choice for president. Only Biden and Sanders were other candidates’ voters’ second choice, according to the poll.
The poll also looked at Democratic primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Biden has an even stronger lead in that subset, and Sanders is second again.
As for the GOP side of the equation, Trump’s nomination is supported by 76 percent of Republican primary voters, either strongly or somewhat. His support is 1 percent higher in early primary states. The president is most popular in Wyoming, Alabama, and West Virginia, according to Morning Consult. He’s least popular in Hawaii, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
Biden’s Also Leading When All Recent Polling Is Averaged
In assessing Joe Biden as the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination, Morning Consult is not alone.
Biden enjoys an average 8.5 percentage point lead over the closest candidate in the primary field – Sanders – per the RealClearPolitics polling average. He’s led in every single poll listed on the site since October except one, which was a tie with Sanders.