Less than a week after entering the Democratic presidential primary, former vice president Joe Biden is running substantially ahead of the other 19 primary candidates, according to a new poll from CNN out this morning. The poll shows Biden with a 24-point lead over his next-closest competitor, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, among Democratic voters or voters who lean Democrat, with 39 percent support to Sanders’s 15 percent.
Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren comes in third with just 8 percent of the vote, and South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has been polling in third place behind Biden and Sanders for the last several weeks, sinks to fourth place at 7 percent.
Though Biden has been the frontrunner in most national surveys over the last couple of months — even before he officially announced his candidacy — his lead over Sanders is something of a surprise. In past polls, Biden had the edge over the rest of the field but usually by single digits, and one Emerson poll in mid April even showed Sanders with a five-point lead.
The detailed polling data from CNN’s new survey is also intriguing, showing Biden maintaining his substantial lead among voters in nearly every category. Among non-college grads, 46 percent support Biden while just 14 percent said they support Sanders. Among college grads, the split narrows, with Biden at 27 percent, Sanders at 16 percent, Buttigieg at 12 percent, and Warren at 11 percent.
Among white voters, Biden receives 29-percent support compared to Sanders’s 15 percent and Buttigieg’s 10 percent, while among non-white voters, his support skyrockets to 50 percent, Sanders’s stays about even at 14 percent, and Warren comes in third at 7 percent.
The bounce in Biden’s numbers is likely due to the fact that he has officially launched his campaign and doesn’t necessarily indicate that he’ll maintain such a significant advantage going forward. But he was the clear favorite even before deciding to run, and this poll certainly cements his status as the Democratic frontrunner.