- The Washington Times - Monday, December 9, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden holds a sizable lead over his 2020 Democratic presidential rivals in South Carolina, according to polling published on Monday that also showed results using a “ranked choice” system.

In a standard poll, Mr. Biden was the top choice of 41% of likely Democratic primary voters, according to YouGov/FairVote polling provided to Vox. He was followed by Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont at 13%.

Mr. Biden also led the way using a theoretical “ranked choice” system, where people are asked to rank their candidates. The lowest-polling candidates who don’t win more than 50% of the vote are then steadily eliminated.

Using those metrics, Mr. Biden won with 51% of the vote and Mr. Sanders was the next-closest at 21%.

After the first round, Mr. Biden was out in front with about 45% support, followed by Mr. Sanders at 20%, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, at 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 12%, and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer at 9%.

When Mr. Steyer’s supporters were reallocated, Mr. Biden was at 51% — breaking the threshold needed to “win” in a ranked-choice system. He was followed by Mr. Sanders at 21%, Mr. Buttigieg at 16% and Ms. Warren at 13%.

When the field continued to be whittled down anyway, Mr. Biden ended up at 66% support to Mr. Sanders’ 34%.

The survey of 400 likely Democratic voters in South Carolina was taken from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2.

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