Nov 27, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Top 4 Democrats way ahead of 2020 rivals in 2 polls, but Warren slips

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Bernie Sanders greet the audience ahead of the Democratic Presidential Debate
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Nov. 20 Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Two polls published Tuesday show a clear gap at the top of the Democratic presidential race, with only the four leading candidates achieving double digits. But Sen. Elizabeth Warren's numbers slipped in both.

By the numbers: Former Vice President Joe Biden has retaken the lead in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, with 24% of Democratic and independent voters who lean Democratic backing him. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg jumped 6 points to snatch second place (16%). Warren's numbers fell 50% over the past month to receive 14% support. Sen. Bernie Sanders polled at 13%.

  • Sanders stormed to the lead in the latest New Hampshire Emerson College poll, with the support of 26% voters ahead of the first-in-the-nation primary.
  • Buttigieg placed second with 22% of those polled backing him. Warren and Biden both achieved 14%.

Why it matters: The polls are a blow for Warren, who enjoyed a surge of support to lead several polls in September and October. However, she's faced criticism since introducing her "Medicare for All" plan from progressives and moderate Democrats.

Between the lines: Axios' Neal Rothschild noted that NewsWhip data provided exclusively to Axios this month shows Warren has taken a "beating on social media after claiming middle class Americans won’t pay higher taxes to fund health care coverage fully paid for by taxpayers."

The big picture: In the New Hampshire Emerson College poll, conducted Nov. 22–26, the sample consisted of 1,184 registered voters. The margin of error was ±2.8 percentage points.

  • Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,355 voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3.2 percentage points. It includes 574 Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic with a margin of error of ±4.9 percentage points.

Read the full Quinnipiac University poll:

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Editor's note: This piece has been corrected to show that Pete Buttigieg jumped 6 points in the Quinnipiac University poll (not 16).

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