Joe Biden gets boost in polls ahead of next Democratic primary debate

Chris Riotta
Joe Biden speaking at a campaign event in Nashua, New Hampshire: EPA

Joe Biden remains a clear frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primaries, after the former vice president received a welcome boost ahead of the party's sixth primary debate.

But Mr Biden appeared to be losing ground to Elizabeth Warren in New Hampshire when the Massachusetts senator surged past him in a September poll.

He’s also now just one point behind Pete Buttigieg, the millennial mayor of South Bend, Indiana whose support has steadily risen across the state in recent months, according to a recent WBUR/Mass/NC poll.

Mr Biden has meanwhile regained his lead against Mr Buttigieg and Ms Warren in Iowa, surpassing the 37-year-old mayor — who was previously the top contender in the state — by a point in the latest Emerson College poll released last week.

While he appears to be the frontrunner in virtually all national polls conducted in December, he could face declining support in key states like South Carolina, where Bernie Sanders has gained momentum in recent weeks and is now in second place, as The Hill noted on Sunday.

The polls are a welcome sign of support for Mr Biden’s campaign, which has found itself embroiled in Donald Trump’s impeachment scandal surrounding the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

Mr Trump sought investigations from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into Mr Biden, and has since claimed without evidence the former vice president was involved in corruption with his son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in the White House.

The polling also comes just before the top seven candidates face off in the sixth Democratic presidential primary debates on Thursday night in Los Angeles, California.

Those seven candidates include Mr Biden, Ms Warren, Mr Sanders, Mr Buttigieg, as well as Minnesota Senate Amy Klobuchar, nonprofit executive Andrew Yang and billionaire businessman Tom Steyer.

Of course, polling is subject to vastly change before the first primary in February of 2020, and voters can expect at least four more Democratic debates in the New Year. But Mr Biden has consistently polled at the top of the once-sprawling field of presidential hopefuls.

On Sunday, a Fox News poll put Mr Biden sharply ahead of his fellow candidates with 30 per cent of support nationwide.

Mr Sanders followed him in second place with 20 per cent of support. Ms Warren was in third with 13 per cent, while Mr Buttigieg remained in fourth place at seven per cent.

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