Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren leads former vice president Joe Biden in a new national poll in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination
Washington (AFP) - Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has surged past former vice president Joe Biden in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a poll published on Wednesday.
Warren was the choice of 27 percent of the Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent voters surveyed nationwide in the Quinnipiac University poll, while 25 percent opted for Biden.
Biden has been the frontrunner in the crowded Democratic field seeking the right to face Donald Trump in November 2020, but Warren has been surging lately and drawing large crowds to her campaign rallies.
Quinnipiac said that although the findings were within the margin of error, it was the first time since March that Warren had topped Biden in one of its polls.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was in third place with 16 percent followed by Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, with seven percent and California Senator Kamala Harris with three percent.
In an August national poll by Quinnipiac, Biden was at 32 percent, Warren at 19 percent and Sanders at 15 percent.
"After trailing Biden by double digits since March in the race for the Democratic nomination, Warren catches Biden," said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy.
"We now have a race with two candidates at the top of the field, and they're leaving the rest of the pack behind."
Two recent polls had Warren overtaking Biden in Iowa and New Hampshire, the states which vote first to choose a Democratic nominee.
A Des Moines Register/CNN poll had Warren with 22 percent of the vote among likely participants in the Iowa caucuses, compared to 20 percent for Biden and 11 percent for Sanders.
A Monmouth University poll in New Hampshire had Warren leading Biden by two points in the state -- 27 percent to 25 percent -- and Sanders coming in third at 12 percent.
- Warren leads in California poll -
Warren has also leapfrogged Biden in California, which sends the most delegates to the Democratic National Convention, according to a poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.
Warren is the first choice of 29 percent of likely Democratic voters in California, followed by Biden with 20 percent and Sanders with 19 percent, according to the poll.
The Massachusetts senator has vied with Sanders for the progressive vote with bold ideas on health care and education, while Biden has campaigned as an experienced moderate who has the best chance of defeating Trump.
The Warren campaign announced on Tuesday that it was spending at least $10 million on digital and television advertising in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, and hiring new state directors and organizers.
The Quinnipiac survey, which was conducted before the Democratic-led House of Representatives opened an impeachment inquiry into Trump on Tuesday, also looked at the Republican president's job approval.
Forty percent of those polled said they approve of Trump's handling of the presidency while 55 percent said they disapprove.
Thirty-seven percent of the registered voters surveyed said Trump should be impeached while 57 percent said he should not.
The poll of 1,337 registered voters was conducted September 19-23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
The survey of 561 Democratic or Democratic-leaning independent voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.