- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had an 18-point lead over his nearest rival for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday.

Mr. Biden had the support of 32% of registered voters who said they plan to vote in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus, and was followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 14% and Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont at 12%.

A Suffolk poll from June had Mr. Biden in the lead at 30%, followed by Mr. Sanders at 15% and Ms. Warren at about 10%.

In the new poll, Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California were next at 6% apiece, followed by entrepreneur Andrew Yang at 3% and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Sen. Cory A. Booker of New Jersey at 2% apiece.

Former Obama administration official Julián Castro of Texas and Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio were at 1% apiece.

The survey is a contrast to a Monmouth University poll released earlier this week that showed Mr. Biden a point behind Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren. The former vice president has about an 8-point advantage over Mr. Sanders, according to the Real Clear Politics average of recent public polling.

Wednesday is the cutoff for candidates to qualify for next month’s debate in Houston, and the poll didn’t help out anyone who wasn’t already in.

Candidates have to hit 2% support in four qualifying polls and secure contributions from 130,000 individual donors to qualify.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and author Marianne Williamson have all hit the donor threshold, but still need to hit 2% support in at least one more poll in order to get to four qualifying polls.

All three candidates polled below 1% in the new survey.

Ten candidates have qualified for the debate: Mr. Biden, Mr. Booker, Mr. Buttigieg, Mr. Castro, Ms. Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Mr. O’Rourke, Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren, and Mr. Yang.

The survey of 424 registered voters who indicated they plan to vote in a primary or caucus was taken from Aug. 20-25 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.96 percentage points.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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