- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden is well in front of his nearest competitors in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

Mr. Biden was the top choice for 35 percent of Democrats or voters who lean Democrat, followed by Sen. Bernard Sanders at 16 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 13 percent, and Sen. Kamala Harris at 8 percent.

“It’s former Vice President Joseph Biden and then there’s everyone else, descending from Sen. Bernie Sanders to Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Sen. Kamala Harris to a bunch of people most Democrats have never heard of,” said Tim Malloy, director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

Mr. Biden’s support ticked down 3 points compared to a Quinnipiac survey released in late April and taken in the immediate aftermath of his entering the race, while Mr. Sanders’ support increased 5 points.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was at 5 percent — a 5-point drop compared to the April poll.

Sen. Cory Booker was next at 3 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke were at 2 percent apiece. Support for Mr. O’Rourke slipped 3 points compared to April.

The survey also found that American voters overall think the economy is in good shape, with more than 70 percent saying it is “excellent” or “good.” More than half said they are better off financially today than in 2016.

By a 48 percent to 45 percent margin, overall voters said they approve of how President Trump is handling the economy.

But 38 percent said they approve of Mr. Trump’s job performance in general, compared to 57 percent who said they disapprove.

Fifty-four percent of voters said they definitely will not vote for Mr. Trump next year, compared to 31 percent who said they definitely will vote for him.

“The nation’s economy is pretty darn good and President Donald Trump’s approval numbers are pretty darn awful,” Mr. Malloy said. “So what to make of the good news, bad news mashup and how to correct it? For the moment, the disparity leaves the president on shaky reelection ground.”

Analysts have cautioned against reading too much into public polling this early in the proceedings.

But the Democratic National Committee is using performance in publicly released polls like Quinnipiac’s as one metric for candidates to qualify for the committee’s first debates next month. Getting onstage would give lesser-known candidates a platform to introduce themselves more to a national audience, among a field that now tops 20 major contenders.

The Quinnipiac survey of 1,078 voters was taken from May 16-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

The survey includes 454 Democrats and Democratic “leaners” and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points for that group.

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

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