- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden leads the 2020 Democratic candidates in a new Iowa poll, despite not officially joining the presidential race.

According to a poll conducted by Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom, 27 percent said their first choice would be Mr. Biden, leading against the 19 other candidates tested, both declared and potential.

Respondents said Mr. Biden’s views were “just right,” neither too liberal nor too conservative, by 70 percent — this was the highest percentage over every candidate tested.

About 64 percent also said the former vice president’s experience makes him a good choice to enter the race, while roughly a third of respondents said he should not run.

“If I’m Joe Biden sitting on the fence and I see this poll, this might make me want to jump in,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of the Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which ran the poll. “I just can’t find much in this poll that would be a red flag for Joe Biden.”

While Mr. Biden has not officially announced a run for president, a strategist of the former vice president has been telling Democrats that the chance of him running is 95 percent, according to The New York Times

Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders was next behind Mr. Biden in the poll, coming in at 25 percent. He is also the highest candidate who has officially announced a run for president.

The race is basically a two-person duel as the next-closest candidate is Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts who currently follows Mr. Sanders by 16 percentage points.

Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California came in at fourth place at 7 percent, rising from 5 percent, and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke saw a fall of support in this poll, going from 11 percent of likely voters in December to 5 percent this month. Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Cory Booker of New Jersey tied with 3 percent.

The poll was conducted with 401 Iowans March 3-6 who said they were likely to attend the 2020 Democratic caucuses and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

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