It’s a Joe-gernaut! Biden Widens Lead in New South Carolina 2020 Poll

May 13, 2019 by Dan McCue
Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden speaks to guests during a campaign event at the Grand River Center on April 30, 2019, in Dubuque, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/TNS) *FOR USE WITH THIS STORY ONLY*

Former Vice President Joe Biden has widened his lead in South Carolina among 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, according to a Charleston Post and Courier/Change Research poll released Sunday.

The poll found Biden is the preference of 46 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in South Carolina, up 14 points from a month ago.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came is second, at 15 percent, with California Senator Kamala Harris third at 10 percent. Their numbers have held steady in the three Post and Courier/Change Research polls taken since February.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg continued his rise, coming in fourth, at 8 percent, and in a tie with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Buttigieg did not even register as a blip in previous polls done by Change Research in South Carolina.

Two candidates losing traction are New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke.

Despite frequent campaign visits to South Carolina in recent weeks, Booker saw his support cut in half in the latest poll, to 4 percent.

O’Rourke, who drew large crowds in his first swing in South Carolina, sits at 2 percent, tied with entrepreneur Andrew Yang — down 7 points from a month ago.

The latest poll shows Biden leads the field among men and women and in all regions of the state. He also is tops among black voters (at 58 percent), who account for close to two-thirds of Democratic primary voters in South Carolina.

Interestingly, despite his surging support with some groups of voters in the state, Mayor Buttigieg is at 0 percent among black voters.

Biden also led by a large margin in the category of generating excitement (72 percent), with Senator Harris coming in second (52 percent) and Senator Sanders, third (48 percent).

Biden also led when voters were asked which Democrat was “smart,” which was “tough,” which was “likable,” and which was “honest and ethical.” In all of those categories, but one, Sanders came in second and Harris third.

Harris edged Sanders by 1 percentage point in likability.

In the all important category of who voters believe is most likely to defeat incumbent President Donald Trump in 2020 general election, Biden came in at 85 percent, with Sanders at 56 percent and Harris at 38 percent.

In fact, Biden’s only weakness appears to be among younger voters, ages 18-34, a group that prefers Sanders.

Meanwhile, excitement about a possible run by former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams appears to be dissipating.

Support for Abrams, who ran in a hotly contested governor’s race against Republican Brian Kemp last year, dropped to 1 percent from 7 percent in April.

Abrams has refused to rule out a presidential bid, but has indicated that if she decides to go for it, she wouldn’t enter the race until after Labor Day.

The latest Post and Courier/Change Research Poll surveyed 595 likely S.C. Democratic primary voters online from May 6-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

The South Carolina Democratic primary is scheduled for Feb. 29, 2020. On that date, 54 delegates will be awarded proportionally based on the results statewide and in each congressional district.

In 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton garnered 73.5 percent of the vote in South Carolina, and Senator Bernie got 26.0 percent.



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