CNN Poll: Biden solidifies front-runner status with post-announcement bump

Former Vice President Joe Biden's announcement of a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination earned him an 11-point polling bounce, leaving him head and shoulders above the rest of the Democratic candidates.

Posted: Apr 30, 2019 8:44 AM
Updated: Apr 30, 2019 8:45 AM


Former Vice President Joe Biden's announcement of a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination earned him an 11-point polling bounce, leaving him head and shoulders above the rest of the Democratic candidates.

A new CNN poll conducted by SSRS after Biden's announcement on Thursday shows 39% of voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents saying he is their top choice for the nomination, up from 28% who said the same in March.

That puts Biden more than 20 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont -- who holds 15% support in the poll -- and roughly 30 points ahead of the next strongest candidate, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (8%).

Warren ranks about evenly with South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (7%), former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke (6%) and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (5%), who round out the list of those earning 5% or more in the poll. The remaining 17 candidates tested all held the support of 2% or less.

Biden's surge in support solidifies his status as the front-runner in a race that now has 20 candidates in the Democratic field. Biden's early campaign message has been centered around taking on President Donald Trump more directly rather than his Democratic counterparts -- and the President has noticed, spending time attacking Biden repeatedly on Twitter and Fox News in recent days. Biden also has highlighted his close personal ties to former President Barack Obama, releasing a campaign ad on Tuesday that interspersed images of his vice presidency with Obama's remarks during his Medal of Freedom ceremony.

Biden's lead extends across most every major demographic or political group, though it shrinks some among younger voters (31% Biden to 19% Sanders among those under age 45), liberals (32% Biden to 19% Sanders) and whites (29% Biden to 15% Sanders among white voters).

Still, only about a third of potential Democratic voters with a preference in the race (36%) say they will definitely back the candidate they currently support, 64% say they could still change their minds. Those who say they are locked in are more apt to back Biden: 50% in that group support him, 21% Sanders, 8% Warren.

When asked who in the field they'd most like to hear more about, aside from the candidate they currently support, the names which rise to the top largely match those near the top of the horserace. But the order is shuffled: Harris holds the top slot, mentioned by 23% of potential Democratic voters. Warren follows at 20%, Biden at 19%, Buttigieg at 17%, Senator Cory Booker and O'Rourke each land at 15% and 12% name Sanders.

Biden remains deeply popular among potential Democratic voters, according to the poll, with 81% saying they have a favorable view of the former vice president, exactly the same as when CNN last polled on his favorability rating in December.

All but 7% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters know Biden well enough to have an impression of him, but there's less certainty about the former Delaware senator's long record. Only half (49%) of potential Democratic voters say they know at least a fair amount about his positions as a senator, half (51%) say they know very little. Even among his current supporters, 40% say they know just a little or nothing at all about those positions. Younger Democrats are especially fuzzy on his record, with 62% of those under age 45 saying they know little or nothing about his record in the Senate.

Aside from Biden's rise, Buttigieg is the only other candidate who made meaningful gains compared with a CNN survey in March, climbing six points in support. Buttigieg's favorability rating among potential Democratic voters has also improved, from 11% favorable in late January following his announcement of a presidential exploratory committee to 38% now that he has announced a campaign; 12% now have an unfavorable view.

Biden's entrance into the race made for a field of 20 announced major candidates, with at least three more current officeholders strongly considering a run. And the poll finds the potential Democratic electorate is generally happy with their choices.

All told, 80% say they are satisfied with the massive field of candidates who are in the running for the Democratic nomination, 18% say they are dissatisfied. Women (85% satisfied) are more apt to express satisfaction with the field than men (74%), and self-identified Democrats (84%) are a bit more satisfied than independents who lean toward the party (71%).

Asked to rate the importance of several issue positions staked out by at least some of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination, potential Democratic voters are largely unified in considering it very important for the party's nominee to back aggressive action to slow the effects of climate change (82% 'very important'); providing health insurance for all Americans through the government (75%); and taking executive action if Congress fails to pass stricter gun laws (65%).

About half consider it deeply important for the nominee to support making public colleges tuition-free (52%). And less than half of potential Democratic voters call it very important for the nominee to back Trump's impeachment (43%), paying reparations to the descendants of enslaved people (31%) or restoring voting rights to all felons (28%).

Nearly half of potential Democratic voters say it is 'extremely important' that a candidate has a good chance of beating Trump (46% said so) in making their decision about whom to support. That outpaced considerations about the candidate's experience (31% said it was extremely important that the candidate has the right experience to be president), willingness to work with Republicans to get things done (26%), how well a candidate represents the future of the Democratic Party (22%), positions on the issues (20% prioritized progressive positions, 20% consistency on the issues) or ability to bring an outsider's perspective to Washington (14%).

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS April 25 through April 28 among a random national sample of 1,007 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points, for the subsample of 411 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who are registered to vote, it is 5.9 points.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 913528

Reported Deaths: 14940
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1246321941
Lake621681081
Allen52061745
Hamilton42834440
St. Joseph41021583
Elkhart32682485
Vanderburgh29557433
Tippecanoe26373246
Johnson23002412
Hendricks21624337
Porter21176338
Clark16885221
Madison16810376
Vigo15459270
Monroe14147190
LaPorte13914235
Delaware13516213
Howard13419258
Kosciusko11066134
Hancock10481156
Warrick10377174
Bartholomew10184163
Floyd10037200
Wayne9478215
Grant8793194
Morgan8604157
Boone8182109
Dubois7481123
Henry7359125
Dearborn727586
Noble716199
Marshall7117126
Cass7030117
Lawrence6759148
Jackson635980
Shelby6343106
Gibson5977104
Harrison585784
Huntington584590
Montgomery5618101
DeKalb552791
Knox529299
Clinton521164
Miami520080
Putnam516867
Whitley507151
Steuben477966
Wabash468691
Jasper462960
Jefferson452191
Ripley436274
Adams433665
Daviess3984102
Scott387563
White381757
Clay373854
Decatur373895
Greene373489
Wells371983
Fayette361472
Posey349541
Jennings337755
Washington321945
LaGrange309574
Spencer309234
Fountain303853
Randolph298387
Sullivan293647
Owen274961
Orange268758
Starke266761
Fulton261551
Jay247234
Perry242850
Carroll237726
Franklin226437
Vermillion223050
Rush220630
Parke209719
Tipton204454
Pike198438
Blackford162434
Pulaski152150
Crawford140318
Newton137641
Benton137216
Brown130445
Martin122916
Switzerland120710
Warren111016
Union91411
Ohio74911
Unassigned0458

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1311518

Reported Deaths: 21253
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1474191537
Cuyahoga1306562313
Hamilton945001307
Montgomery644251122
Summit546351041
Lucas49206853
Butler45737649
Stark39689963
Lorain30240525
Warren29045326
Mahoning25848629
Clermont24582278
Lake23984411
Delaware21635140
Licking19661239
Fairfield19645218
Greene19552266
Medina19108285
Trumbull19093506
Clark17093321
Portage15502224
Richland15409228
Wood15091208
Allen13581254
Miami13216244
Muskingum11678148
Wayne11347234
Columbiana11032239
Tuscarawas10304264
Marion10201144
Pickaway10131128
Scioto9614124
Erie9410170
Ross8904172
Lawrence8111116
Hancock8042140
Ashtabula8031184
Geauga7942155
Belmont7719183
Huron7020125
Union700447
Jefferson7003168
Washington6732116
Athens661663
Sandusky6575132
Darke6323135
Knox6269120
Seneca6083135
Auglaize567688
Ashland5590110
Shelby553399
Mercer542788
Brown525967
Defiance5242100
Madison523768
Crawford5103113
Highland508476
Fulton505981
Clinton502579
Logan490382
Preble4747110
Putnam4717106
Guernsey436357
Williams433481
Ottawa423483
Champaign422563
Perry407050
Jackson399459
Pike362840
Morrow356049
Fayette351549
Coshocton338364
Hardin337268
Adams335764
Gallia325454
Holmes3120107
Henry310766
Van Wert297569
Hocking277967
Wyandot270058
Carroll248151
Paulding228940
Meigs194742
Monroe176649
Noble158940
Morgan150528
Harrison143940
Vinton128717
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 55°
Angola
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 52°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 53°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 55°
Van Wert
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 56°
An area of high pressure will pave the way to plenty of sunshine as we round out the work week.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events