The 2020 presidential election is only getting closer, and by and large, the Democratic presidential primary field continues to pose a formidable challenge to the Trump administration and re-election campaign. The widely popular and already well-polling former Vice President Joe Biden has soared ahead in a new poll of South Carolina Democrats to capture 46 percent of the available support, almost putting him over the top for a majority even without any other candidates dropping out of the crowded field and the race re-shuffling. His level of support is up some 14 percent from just a month ago.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont sits in second place, capturing about 15 percent of the support, while California’s Sen. Kamala Harris had some 10 percent of those polled. Closing out the top five candidates, South Bend, Indiana’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) tied for fourth place, each capturing about eight percent of the polled vote.
None of the shifts among those other top five candidates are similar to the spike Biden has experienced in South Carolina polling. Buttigieg didn’t even place on the roster in polling taken about three months ago, but he’s still at only about an eight percent level of support, while Sanders and Harris have maintained about the same standing for the last few months in The Post and Courier‘s description.
Polling outside of their purview has generally placed Biden far ahead, like in the case of a late February/early March Emerson College survey that had him with 37 percent of the electorate compared to second place Bernie Sanders’s 21 percent. That poll, mind you, was conducted before Biden even announced his candidacy, although it had been expected for months in advance.
Orangeburg County Democratic Party Chairman Kenneth Glover shared of Biden:
‘He’s always been popular in South Carolina and always maintained good relationships here, so people were really excited about him getting in.’
The state has one of the earliest presidential primaries, which this time around is set for February 29, 2020. The early placement allows the race to serve as a guidestick of sorts for the rest of the race, which at that point follows in quick succession — although at this point, Biden’s South Carolina surge is of a slightly greater magnitude than his jump elsewhere. The RealClearPolitics polling average presently puts the spike at about 11 percent, giving him an average of 41.4 percent of the support.
The crowded Democratic presidential primary race boasts nearly two dozen candidates at present, although not all of them may even make it to a debate stage since the party has limited spots to “only” 20. Some figures way at the bottom of the race have qualified, like California’s Congressman Eric Swalwell and self-help author Marianne Williamson.
Crucially, setting him apart and making this new South Carolina polling a potentially powerful foreshadowing of the eventual general election, hypothetical match-up polling pitting Biden against Trump has the Democrat doing remarkably well. On average, he’s up over Trump by about seven percent or so, although there are still significant blocs of undecided voters to face.
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