Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s favorability among Democrats has spiked since January and she is now the best-liked 2020 Democratic presidential candidate among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, according to a national survey released on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s debate in Houston.
Some 75% said they have a favorable impression of Ms. Warren of Massachusetts, compared to 11% who said they have an unfavorable view, according to the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.
That’s up from a 53%-17% favorable-unfavorable split from January.
“Elizabeth Warren seems to be on the verge of starting to make significant and serious inroads into this contest,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducts the poll. He added, “Heading into the debate, she’s very well-positioned.”
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden had a 71%-22% favorable-unfavorable split among Democrats and independents who lean Democrat. In January, Mr. Biden had a 76%-11% split.
“One of the initial senses of what Joe Biden presented was that he seemed to be less of a risk, but his performance so far has not been gaffe-proof, and, as a result, people are not as comfortable, and that opened up the door for others, and particularly Warren,” Mr. Miringoff said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont had a 66%-27% favorable-unfavorable split among Democrats and leaners.
Majorities also had favorable views of Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California, Sen. Cory A. Booker of New Jersey and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, but more than a quarter of respondents also said they weren’t sure about those candidates.
Among all registered voters, Mr. Biden had the highest favorability rating: 45% had a favorable view, compared to 46% who had an unfavorable view.
Ms. Warren had a 41%-42% favorable-unfavorable split, and Mr. Sanders had a 38%-55% split.
“Bernie Sanders having over 50% negative has to be concerning to Democrats looking for electability,” Mr. Miringoff said.
The survey of 542 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents was taken from Sept. 5-8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points.