The Zogby Poll®: Biden's in the driver's seat! Biden is the favorite, even with Michelle Obama in the race; Sanders in second place but O'Rourke and Bloomberg make big splash

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According to a new Zogby Poll® of 410 likely Democratic voters, conducted randomly online from 1/18/19 to 1/20/19, with a margin of error of +/-4.8 percentage points, former Vice President Joe Biden is in the driver's seat regarding the potential democratic nomination for president in 2020. He is even beating the former First Lady Michelle Obama!

The Zogby Poll® tested two different Democratic primary horse races: One with the Michelle Obama and one without. In each scenario, Joe Biden (25-27%) receives a quarter of support from likely Democratic primary voters. In the first horse race, without Michelle Obama, Biden leads (27%), followed by Bernie Sanders (18%), Elizabeth Warren (9%), and Michael Bloomberg (8%). In the middle of the pack were Kamala Harris and Beto O'Rourke, each at 6%. At the bottom of the list were Kirsten Gillibrand (2%), Sherrod Brown (2%), John Delaney (1%), and Cory Booker-NJ (1%). Still, one in five Democratic primary voters was not sure who they would vote for.

In the second horse race Joe Biden has a comfortable lead (25%) over Michelle Obama (17%) and the Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders (12%), while one in five (20%) Democratic primary voters were not sure who they would vote for, which is down from a third of voters who were undecided this summer.

Rounding out the list of potential contenders were Senators Elizabeth Warren-MA (5%), Kamala Harris-CA (5%), former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (5%), Cory Booker-NJ (3%), Sherrod Brown (OH) (2%) Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) (1%), Congressman John Delaney (1%) and Julian Castro (1%).

In a seemingly consistent pattern since our polling began last year, Sanders leads Biden among younger voters age 18-24 (Sanders leads 37% to 4%) and age 18-29 (Sanders leads 35% to 9%). Among older Millennials age 25-34, Biden leads Sanders 34% to 22%. Joe Biden also does well with both men (Biden leads Sanders 35% to 15%) and women voters (Biden leads Sanders 22% to 19%). It must also be noted Senator Elizabeth Warren received 10% among women voters.

Biden is clearly the favorite among registered Democrats. He expanded his lead over Sanders to 31% to 17%, while Senator Elizabeth Warren (9%), Michael Bloomberg (8%) and Congressman Beto O'Rourke (6%) are the next closest candidates. This group excludes some of the sample of likely voters, who were registered Republicans and Independents that plan to vote in open primary states or switch parties.

Which candidate Independent likely voters will support is not clear, as three candidates do very well with this group. Sanders (26%) is winning against Biden (19%) but Kamala Harris (13%) also received double digit support among Independent likely voters who say they will vote in the Democratic primary.

Biden did best among white (Biden leads Sanders 26% to 16%) and African American voters (Biden leads Sanders 34% to 14%), while Sanders did better among Hispanics (Sanders leads Biden 31% to 24%).

With Michelle Obama among the choice of candidates the dynamics of the race change. Senator Sanders is left to play catch-up to the former Vice President and First lady. Michelle Obama beats Sanders with Generation Z voters and younger and older Millennials. Also, she does very well with Independents, Hispanics and African Americans. She is very successful with the core of the Democratic base of voters, and could still flip the race on its head.

Zogby Analytics Sub-groups

Where likely voters lived was also a factor in which Democratic candidate they supported; Biden did well among large city voters (Biden leads Sanders 27% to 16%), suburban voters (Biden leads Sanders 28% to 15%), and rural voters (Biden leads Sanders 29% to 24%). Elizabeth Warren was tied with Sanders among suburban voters at 15%

The former Vice President also bested his opponents among union voters, weekly Amazon shoppers, NASCAR fans and weekly Walmart shoppers.

Three Takeaways

  • Biden retains a comfortable lead, especially over his closest competitor, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Even Michelle Obama is not impeding Biden. Last year, we had Michelle Obama beating Joe Biden. More voters are starting to make up their minds in this crowded field, and that is benefiting the former vice president.

  • Sanders still dominates among younger and Independent voters, but Biden does well with swing voters, such as, small city voters and consumer voting blocs we regularly track-Weekly Walmart shoppers, Amazon Shoppers and NASCAR fans. Biden also does much better than Sanders with African Americans, while Sanders bests Biden with Hispanic voters.

  • Elizabeth Warren was starting to separate herself in third place, but that is much harder in a deep race with potential newcomers Beto O'Rourke, Michael Bloomberg and candidate Kamala Harris.