Joe Biden Lead Is Sizable But Shrinking in New National Poll – Rolling Stone
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Joe Biden’s Lead is Sizable (But Shrinking) in New National Poll

Bernie Sanders is gaining steam

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.HElection 2020 Joe Biden, Hanover, USA - 23 Aug 2019

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, NH.

Elise Amendola/AP/Shutterstock

A day after a Monmouth University poll found longtime frontrunner Joe Biden trailing Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, an Emerson University poll has the former vice president on top by a comfortable margin.

Conducted between August 24th-26th with a 3.9 percent margin of error, the poll has 31 percent of Democratic primary voters favoring Biden, followed by Sanders (24 percent), Elizabeth Warren (15), Kamala Harris (10), and Andrew Yang (4). Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, and Tulsi Gabbard all drew 3 percent support; Beto O’Rourke drew 2 percent; and Amy Klobuchar, Julián Castro, and “Someone Else” all drew 1 percent. The rest of the field didn’t register a blip.

Though the 7-point gap between Biden and Sanders may seem like a comfortable margin, Emerson’s latest poll is yet another sign that Biden’s stranglehold on the primary may be weakening. Not only did Biden’s support drop 2 percentage points from the last time Emerson conducted a national poll in late July, Sanders gained 4 percentage points, closing the gap from 13 percentage points to 7 in less than a month.

In the Monmouth poll released Monday, Sanders gained 6 points from June, enough to leapfrog Biden, who lost a whopping 12 points of support. Warren also jumped the former vice president, according to Monmouth, gaining 5 points. Warren only gained 1 percentage point in the Emerson poll, however. Kamala Harris, who has been unable to build on the momentum she generated from highlighting Biden’s record on race during the first primary debate in June, dropped a point, moving from 11 percent to 10 percent. Meanwhile, Yang celebrated his move into fifth place by tweeting a flexing bicep emoji.

Though it’s anybody guess how valuable these polls are in predicting who will win the Democratic nomination, an actual revelation to be taken from the Monmouth and Emerson polls is the very real prospect that Tom Steyer will fail to qualify for the September debate. The deadline to do so is Wednesday, and the billionaire impeachment advocate has only registered the requisite 2 percent support in 3 of the necessary 4 qualifying polls. His last chance is the Quinnipiac University poll scheduled to be released Wednesday morning. If he draws 2 percent, he’ll be the 11th candidate to qualify for the debate, which means ABC will have to split it into two nights. If he doesn’t draw 2 percent — which may not be likely considering the results of the Monmouth and Emerson polls — only 10 candidates will have qualified, which means we’ll only have to endure one night of arguing about health care in 15-second increments next month.

See, sometimes polls are actually good for something.

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