Democrats view former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE as having the best shot at defeating President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, according to a new national survey.
The latest poll from Monmouth University asked Democrats to rank the likelihood of each candidate winning the general election based on a scale of 1 to 10.
Biden topped the field at 7.7, followed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) at 6.5, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) at 6.4, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) at 6.0 and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE at 5.6.
Some Democrats are worried that the party risks fumbling away the election if it nominates a candidate who is too far to the left, providing an early opening for Biden to run as a centrist consensus builder, even as he takes fire from progressives for refusing to back liberal policies such as “Medicare for All.”
But the Sanders campaign has increasingly made the electability argument, pointing to polls that show Sanders and Biden routinely posting the largest margins over Trump in head-to-head match-ups in national polls and in key battleground states.
Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir released a memo this week claiming that Sanders had “solidified his standing as the candidate in the strongest position to defeat Donald Trump in the general election.”
“Democratic voters have told us that electability matters in 2020,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “The perception that Biden is the party’s best shot against Trump separates him from the rest of the pack in the minds of his own supporters. Other Democratic voters also tend to see Biden as a highly electable nominee. This could play to his advantage as the field gets winnowed, but only if he can maintain this aura as the primary campaign really gets underway.”
The Sanders campaign has leaned into the electability argument as Warren, a direct competitor for the party’s progressive mantle, has risen in Democratic primary polls.
The Monmouth survey found Biden maintaining a solid lead over the rest of the field, at 32 percent support.
But Warren is by far the biggest gainer in the poll, jumping 5 points since the same poll from last month to 15 percent support and surpassing Sanders, who is down 1 point to 14 percent support.
Twenty-five percent of self-described liberals support Warren, up from 14 percent last month.
Harris has slipped 3 points from 11 percent to 8 percent. Buttigieg is down 1 point to 5 percent support.
The Democratic race will reach its first inflection point next week in Miami for the first primary debate, which will feature 20 contenders spread over two nights.
“Biden maintains his lead but there is plenty percolating in the tier right below him,” said Murray. “Next week will provide the first opportunity for voters to see these candidates side by side.”
The Monmouth University survey of 306 Democrats was conducted between June 12 and June 17 and has a 5.6 percentage point margin of error.
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