- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden has maintained an edge over his 2020 Democratic presidential rivals in new national polling, but South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is gaining and Sen. Elizabeth Warren is slipping.

Mr. Biden was the top choice of 28% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, according to a CNN national poll released Wednesday. He was followed by Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont at 17%, Ms. Warren at 14%, and Mr. Buttigieg at 11%.

A CNN poll taken last month had Mr. Biden in the lead at 34%, followed by Ms. Warren at 19%, Mr. Sanders at 16%, and Mr. Buttigieg at 6%.

Mr. Biden also led the 2020 Democratic field in a Quinnipiac University survey released this week that also showed Mr. Buttigieg gaining ground.

“Buttigieg has broken into the top tier, apparently at the expense of Warren, who has taken a dive after being hammered for being too far left on health care and other issues,” said Quinnipiac University Polling analyst Tim Malloy.

Ms. Warren has faced pressure in recent weeks to explain how she plans to pay for her government-run “Medicare for All” health care proposal.

Despite Mr. Buttigieg’s surge in early voting states such as Iowa, there have been doubts about whether voters would hold his sexuality against him. Mr. Buttigieg is openly gay, with husband Chasten sometimes accompanying him on the campaign trail.

However, 62% of Democratic voters in the all-important primary state of New Hampshire told a Suffolk University poll that the country is ready for a gay president, compared to 28% who said it isn’t ready.

“It was the Democratic Party that nominated candidates who became the first Catholic president in 1960 and the first African-American president in 2008,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “These poll results show that Democrats are open to the possibility of Buttigieg in 2020.”

The already sizable field has grown in recent weeks with the late entries of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Ms. Warren, who has generally shied away from directly attacking her Democratic rivals, this week accused Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul, of trying to buy the Democratic nomination.

“I am here on day two of Michael Bloomberg’s $37 million ad buy,” Ms. Warren said at an event in Iowa, referring to his planned $30 million TV ad blitz across the nation.

“Michael Bloomberg is making a bet about democracy: he doesn’t need people, he only needs bags and bags of money,” she said. “I think Michael Bloomberg is wrong, and that’s what we need to prove in this election.”

Mr. Bloomberg defended himself by saying he’s been using his resources for causes that matter to him for years.

“It has been very successful and I’ve used all of it to give back to help America,” he said at a campaign stop in Virginia. “I’m committed to fight for gun safety; I’m committed to fight for stopping climate change, which is a disaster for us.”

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