New NBC/WSJ poll: Biden tops 2020 Democratic field

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in Washington, June 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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WASHINGTON D. C. (NBC/WSJ) - An NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll just released shows former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., lead the Democratic presidential field opening measure of the 2020 horserace.

Biden gets the support of 26 percent of voters who say they will participate in next year’s Democratic primaries or caucuses, while 19 percent back Warren.

They’re followed by Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who are tied at 13 percent.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg gets support from 7 percent of Democratic primary voters, and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke and entrepreneur Andrew Yang are at 2 percent.

No other candidate gets more than 1 percent.

Biden overperforms among African Americans, older Democrats and those who are moderate or conservative in their political views, while Warren runs strongest with self-described liberals and those ages 18 to 49.

Sanders also overperforms among the youngest Democratic primary voters.

This NBC/WSJ poll was conducted July 7-9, so after the first Democratic debates and the subsequent candidate skirmishes over the issues of race and health care.

New candidate Tom Steyer didn’t enter the race until July 9, and the survey didn’t test his support.

The poll also asks Democratic primary voters about their second choice for president. The top responses here: Harris (14 percent), Warren (13 percent), Sanders (12 percent) and Biden (10 percent).

Only 12 percent of all Democratic primary voters say their mind is definitely made up, which suggests how malleable these horserace numbers are.

“Every result looks so meaningful, so significant. And in truth, it is only July 2019,” cautioned Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

“They are looking at lots of candidates,” McInturff said of these voters, “and they don’t need to make a choice right now.”

(The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted July 7-9 of 800 total registered voters – more than half reached by cell phone – and that has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.5 percentage points.)

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