Joe Biden leads two national polls, while Michael Bloomberg debuts in top five

Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Joe Biden is holding his frontrunner status, while former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg jumped into the top five in two new 2020 Democratic primary polls Tuesday.

Biden is at 29% with Democrat and Democratic leaning voters, according to a Quinnipiac Poll published Tuesday afternoon. The next closest candidate is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 17%, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 15%, according to the Quinnipiac Poll.

Bloomberg earned 5% support from Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters in both the Quinnipiac Poll and a Monmouth University poll published Tuesday, ahead of some of his opponents who have been running all year but still far from the leading three candidates.

Earlier Tuesday, the Monmouth poll showed the former vice president at 26%. Sanders again followed at 21%, while Warren dropped to 17%.

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The two polls are likely welcome news for Biden, who has held a lead nationally while seeing poll numbers slip in the early voting states of New Hampshire and Iowa. And while he still trails the top-tier of candidates significantly, Bloomberg's numbers show he has at least some name recognition and his financial resources are helping out.

It was less good news for Warren and Buttigieg. 

Warren was at 17% in Tuesday's Monmouth poll, dropping 6 percentage points from November's Monmouth poll, when she was at 23%. And that was down from September, when Warren was at 28% in a Monmouth poll.

In the Quinnipiac poll, Warren is up 1 percentage point from last month's poll, but still down from where she was in September, at 27%. 

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg hasn't seen his recent surge in early-state polls translate to national polls. He is at 9% in Tuesday's Quinnipiac Poll, but was in second place at 16% in last month's poll.

Since Bloomberg officially announced his bid Nov. 24, the billionaire has spent millions more on advertisements than his Democratic opponents. Before announcing his candidacy, Bloomberg was at 2% in March and 4% in January, according to Monmouth University polls.

Bloomberg scores 26% favorable ratings among all registered voters and 54% unfavorable in the Monmouth poll. Among Democrat and Democratic-leaning voters, Bloomberg is at 40% favorable and 39% unfavorable.

Bloomberg's favorability is much lower with Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters in the Monmouth poll than the ratings of some of his 2020 opponents, such as Warren who is 76% favorable and 15% unfavorable, Biden at 76% favorable and 20% unfavorable and Sanders at 74% favorable and 21% unfavorable.

“Bloomberg said he got into this race because he wants to defeat Trump, but his campaign kicks off with even lower ratings than the incumbent," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. "That is not the most auspicious start, but views of Bloomberg are not as deeply held as they are for Trump, so he has room to shift those opinions."

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Yang qualifies for December debate

Tuesday brought good news for entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who got the last poll needed to qualify for the December debate.

He is at 4% in Tuesday's Quinnipiac poll. To qualify for the debates, candidates need at least 4% or more support in at least four polls, which include national polls or polls in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada, or 6% support in two single early-state polls. 

The new poll comes hours after he failed to hit 4% in the Monmouth poll. He is at 3% in that poll.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the only other candidate to poll above 2% in both polls; she was 4% in the Monmouth poll and 3% in the Quinnipiac poll.

The Monmouth poll was conducted by telephone Dec. 4 to 8, surveying 903 adults. Using results from 838 registered voters, there is a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. There is a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points among the 384 voters who identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaning.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,553 self-identified registered voters nationwide from Dec. 4 to 9. There is a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Among the 665 Democratic voters and Democratic leaning voters surveyed, there is a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Election 2020 Poll: Joe Biden leads nationally, Bloomberg in top five