Poll: Bernie Sanders Leads Joe Biden in Colorado

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) hold a substantial lead over their Democrat competitors for the 2020 presidential nomination, according to a poll released Monday.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leads former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 Democrat presidential primary in Colorado, per a poll published Tuesday by Emerson Polling.

The survey of 403 Democrat primary voters in Colorado found that Sanders leads with 26 percent, with Biden trailing him by 1 percent at 25 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) comes in third at 20 percent, with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) in fourth at 13 percent. No other candidate broke double digits, but down in fifth place is South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg at 5 percent, followed by businessman Andrew Yang with 4 percent. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is at 2 percent, and the following candidates each have 1 percent: Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Colorado’s home state senator, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), author Marianne Williamson, and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. No other candidate reached a full percent.

The survey was conducted from August 16 to August 19, and for the Democrat primary part of it with a sample size of 403 registered voters has a margin of error of 4.8 percent–meaning Sanders’ lead over Biden is inside the margin of error. Sanders’ and Biden’s leads over Warren is very narrow given the survey’s margin of error.

Also notable is the fact former Colorado Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper, who just dropped out of the presidential primary race after an abysmal performance on the campaign trail, currently leads Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) in a hypothetical matchup according to the poll. Emerson Polling wrote:

In a hypothetical Senate matchup between Sen. Cory Gardner and former Governor John Hickenlooper, Hickenlooper holds a strong lead with 53% to 40% for Gardner. 8% are undecided. The key to Hickenlooper’s lead is his strong performance among Independents, among whom he leads Gardner 55% to 34%.

Trump also trails every Democrat in potential head-to-head match-ups polled in the broader general election survey, which had a sample size of 1,000 registered voters and a margin of error of 3 percent. Trump lost Colorado to Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016. The state offers the winner nine electoral votes, and has been viewed as a battleground state in recent elections.

This is the first publicly available poll of the Colorado 2020 Democrat presidential primary, according to RealClearPolitics’ collection of polling data, so it is unclear if Biden ever led there. But the fact that Biden is not leading outright in this poll is significant nonetheless, given his national leads in almost every survey and leads in most state surveys in polls in other states around the country.

Other candidates like Sanders, Warren, and Harris in particular have been trying to break through against Biden over the course of the summer. Harris had initial success after the first debate where she had a brutal exchange with Biden on race, but since the second debate–where Gabbard exposed her record on drug prosecution in a perhaps-even-more-vicious moment–has significantly slipped. Sanders and Warren have both been pitching their socialist visions for the country, particularly on healthcare but on a number of other issues as well, and seeing steady rises in polling. Some early state surveys have showed Warren or Sanders topping Biden barely in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, but those surveys are outliers for now.

The deeper demographic data in this Colorado survey, however, may signal better news for Warren than the top lines.

“The Colorado data is similar to other state and national polls where Sanders holds a base with the youth vote, Biden has his base with older voters and Warren holds equally strong across age groups,” Spencer Kimball, the director of Emerson Polling, said in a release. “If either Sanders or Biden slip, Warren may be the beneficiary.”

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