By: Jonathan Easley – thehill.com – April 30, 2019
Former Vice President Joe Biden has surged in the polls since launching his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, opening up a double-digit lead over the rest of the field in two new national surveys.
A CNN poll released Tuesday found Biden jumping 11 points to 39 percent support, a 24-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is at 15 percent support. No other candidate in the race has double-digit backing from respondents.
And a Morning Consult survey released Tuesday found Biden with 36 percent support, followed by Sanders at 22 percent. That’s a 6-point bounce for Biden from the same survey released earlier this month, while Sanders has fallen by 2 points. No other candidate reaches double-digit support in the Morning Consult poll, either.
Biden’s polling strength also extends to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.
A Suffolk University survey released Tuesday found the former Delaware senator in the lead in New Hampshire with 20 percent support, followed by Sanders and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 12 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is in fourth place at 8 percent.
If Biden were to win New Hampshire it would be a massive blow to Sanders and Warren, who come from nearby states and are seen as having a home-field advantage in the Northeast.
Biden’s strength in the polls is driven by his broad support from African Americans. Biden has 43 percent support from black voters, according to Morning Consult. Sanders is at 20 percent here, followed by Sen. Kamala Harris(D-Calif.) at 10 percent.
The same holds true in the CNN poll, with Biden hitting 50 percent among nonwhite voters. Sanders is a distant second at 14 percent, and no other candidate is in double-digits.
With Biden emerging as the clear early front-runner, the Democrats lagging behind are increasingly taking shots at him and his decades-long voting record.
Sanders went after Biden with his most direct attacks yet on Monday night on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”
“I helped lead the fight against NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], [Biden] voted for NAFTA. I helped lead the fight against China [on trade], he voted for it. I strongly opposed [the Trans-Pacific Partnership], he supported it. I voted against the war in Iraq, he voted for it,” Sanders said.
President Trump also unloaded on Biden with a series of Twitter attacks, suggesting the president and his political team view the former vice president as a formidable challenger.
The attacks from the White House further help Biden separate himself from the pack of Democrats behind him, setting up an early one-on-one with the president that sets Biden above the fray.
Biden has sought to draw early contrasts between himself and Trump, opening his launch speech by attacking the president’s response to the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
On Monday, Biden rallied union workers at a campaign event in Pennsylvania, a state Trump turned red in the last election for the first time since 1988.
“I’m sick of this President badmouthing unions,” Biden tweeted. “Labor built the middle class in this country … we need a president who honors them and their work.”
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