CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Though Sen. Elizabeth Warren was treated as the frontrunner in the last Democratic debate, she still technically isn’t, at least according to the polls.
Former Vice President Joe Biden not only remains at the top of the latest CNN poll, he increased his lead over Warren to 15 points. The survey, conducted Oct. 17-20, shows Biden with 34% support among Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent registered voters. Warren is second with 19%, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 16%.
Tied at 6% are South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kamala Harris. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (3%), former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke (3%) and entrepreneur Andrew Yang (2%) are the only other candidates above 1%.
Biden has been at the top of every CNN poll since it started a year ago, but this showing marks his biggest lead since April. He can thank moderate and conservative Democrats, 43% of whom support him. That’s up 14 points since the last poll and a whopping 31 points higher than Warren, his closest competitor among those voters.
Though Biden’s performance at the Oct. 15 debate wasn’t particularly memorable, he may have benefitted from Warren taking most of the hits from the other candidates as well as her inability to answer questions directly about how she would pay for her Medicare-for-all plan.
Biden’s role in the impeachment inquiry could also be a factor in his rise in the polls, according to CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod.
This is one poll and we should see if reflects a trend. But could it be that the @realDonaldTrump campaign to smear @JoeBiden has had the OPPOSITE effect of causing a rallying around him among some key Dem voting blocs? https://t.co/xdXrmp9H5Q— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) October 23, 2019
“This is one poll and we should see if reflects a trend. But could it be that the @realDonaldTrump campaign to smear @JoeBiden has had the OPPOSITE effect of causing a rallying around him among some key Dem voting blocs?”, Axelrod tweeted.
But the CNN poll isn’t an anomaly. Biden has been at the top of every national poll since the debate.
Today’s CNN poll https://t.co/so0kKADjlK is the SIXTH national poll to come out since the debate https://t.co/WQ07uTLG2K, and BIDEN leads in every one, with average margin of 8.5— Bill Scher (@billscher) October 23, 2019
But there is one question Biden didn’t fare well in the CNN survey. Potential Democratic voters were asked about the candidates they want to hear more about. Warren topped that list with 31%, followed by 24% for Buttitieg and 23% for Harris. Only 13% said they want to hear more about the former two-term vice president.
Still, the poll shows Biden, Warren, Sanders and even Buttitieg all beating President Donald Trump in potential one-on-one matchups in the general election. Biden’s projected margin of victory of 10 points, however, is the highest among the four Democrats.