Showing momentum, Warren gains on frontrunner Biden

Democratic 2020 US presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, a progressive senator, has enjoyed small but steady gains on frontrunner Joe Biden, the fomer vice president (AFP Photo/JOSEPH PREZIOSO)

Franconia (United States) (AFP) - Elizabeth Warren bolstered her status as the top challenger to Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden on Wednesday with a new poll also showing her stretching her lead over leftwing standard-bearer Bernie Sanders.

The progressive female senator, whose campaign has only gained momentum since April, came in at 20 percent support, nipping at the heels of former vice president Biden at 23 percent, according to the latest national Economist/YouGov poll of registered voters.

The latest result brings Warren's standing in the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls to 18.5 percent, with Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, one point back.

Biden leads with 30.3 percent, according to the average.

Capitalizing on the results, Warren headed to New Hampshire, the early voting state that borders her state of Massachusetts, and which she has high hopes of winning in the primary race that kicks off early next year.

Speaking at a farm in Franconia, with forest-covered mountains as a backdrop, Warren sounded the alarm about a potential second presidential term for Trump, whom she has branded a white supremacist.

"This is a moment of great peril for our country," she told hundreds of voters.

"What happens in 2020 won't just determine the direction of our country for the next four years or the next eight years. This is going to be the direction of our country for generations to come," she added.

Warren also touched on her traditional stump speech issues such as raising the hourly minimum wage to $15 and eliminating student loan debt.

"Today a full-time minimum-wage job in America will not keep a mama and a baby out of poverty. That is wrong and that is why I'm in this fight," she said.

Warren's visit to New Hampshire, which votes second in the party nomination race, after Iowa, comes one day before Trump travels to the state for a campaign rally in Manchester.

Trump lost New Hampshire in 2016 by less than half a percentage point to Hillary Clinton, and it is a state he seeks to flip in 2020.

Voter Joseph Wagley said at Warren's event that he believes she would be a potent adversary to Trump in the general election.

Warren "knows how to take care of herself in a debate with Donald Trump," while the president merely insults people on stage, Wagley told AFP.

"He doesn't really have facts behind him. Elizabeth Warren has facts and facts it up. She has a plan for almost everything," he added, referring to Warren's multiple policy proposals.