- The Washington Times - Monday, November 18, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden holds a 20-point lead over his nearest 2020 Democratic presidential rival in South Carolina, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

Mr. Biden was the top choice of 33% of likely Democratic primary voters, and was followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 13% and Sen. Bernard Sanders at 11%, according to the poll.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, was at 6%, and was followed by former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer at 5%, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang at 4%, Sen. Kamala Harris of California at 3%, and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey at 2%.

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“Unlike tight races in Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina has a clear front-runner in the Democratic primary,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Mary Snow.

Mr. Biden was at 44% support among black voters, who make up about 60% of the Democratic primary electorate in the Palmetto State. The next closest were Mr. Sanders at 10% and Ms. Warren at 8%.

Mr. Buttigieg, who has struggled to win support from blacks, was at less than 1% among black voters.

Mr. Biden’s team has downplayed other early states such as Iowa in recent weeks, saying a truer test will be when candidates vie for support in states like South Carolina, where there is a larger percentage of nonwhite residents.

About eight in 10 respondents said they hadn’t heard enough about former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who entered the race last week, to form an opinion of him.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is also considering a run, had a 16%/26% favorable/unfavorable split, with more than half of voters saying they didn’t know enough about Mr. Bloomberg to form an opinion.

The survey of 768 likely South Carolina Democratic primary voters was taken from Nov. 13-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

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