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CNN Poll: Democrats knotted in Nevada while Biden leads South Carolina

CNN's John King presents the latest polling data showing a tight race between former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders in Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire.

Posted: Sep 29, 2019 8:22 PM


Joe Biden holds a wide lead in South Carolina, while the former vice president, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are knotted up in Nevada, according to new CNN polls conducted by SSRS in the third and fourth states to cast ballots for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

Biden tops Warren by 21 points in South Carolina -- 37% of likely voters back the former vice president, 16% Warren and 11% Sanders. In Nevada, there is no clear leader, with Biden and Sanders tied at 22% of likely caucusgoers with 18% for Warren, all within the poll's margin of sampling error. In neither state does any other candidate reach double-digits.

RELATED: FULL POLL RESULTS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Biden's strong standing in South Carolina rests on support from black voters. Overall, 45% of black likely primary voters back Biden, more than 30 points ahead of his closest competitor. Among white likely primary voters, however, Biden and Warren are deadlocked: 29% favor Biden, 28% Warren.

RELATED: FULL POLL RESULTS IN NEVADA

Nevada's three-way race rests on the demographic and political divides that are driving the contest nationwide. Liberal likely caucusgoers break heavily for Sanders, while moderate and conservative caucusgoers give Biden a wide edge. Those under age 50 break toward Sanders: 35% for him vs. 13% for Warren and 12% for Biden. Among those over 50, 32% back Biden, 23% Warren and 11% Sanders. Voters with college degrees are more in Warren's corner, while those without degrees split between Sanders and Biden with Warren lagging behind.

There is room in both states for these numbers to move. So far, 44% of likely caucusgoers in Nevada and 45% of likely voters in South Carolina say they've chosen a candidate and made up their mind. Another 38% in each state say they have a preference but could change their mind and 18% in Nevada and 17% in South Carolina don't have a preference yet.

Biden stands alone in South Carolina when likely voters are asked to rate their level of enthusiasm. Nearly half, 48%, would be enthusiastic about a Biden nomination, outpacing Warren's 35%, Sanders' and California Sen. Kamala Harris's 23% and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's 19%. In Nevada, more than 4 in 10 say they would be enthusiastic about each of the top three -- 47% for Sanders, 44% for Biden and 42% for Warren -- while 22% each would be enthusiastic about a Harris or Buttigieg nomination.

In both states, however, majorities would at least be satisfied with any of these five candidates. The share saying they would be dissatisfied or upset with any of these five peaks at 37% for Buttigieg in South Carolina and 28% for Harris or Buttigieg in Nevada.

On the issues and electability

About six in 10 likely Democratic voters or caucusgoers say it's more important to nominate a candidate with a strong chance of beating President Donald Trump than it is to nominate one who shares their views on the issues. And in both states, the group that is focused on beating Trump is more apt to favor Biden over Sanders. In Nevada, they are also more apt to favor Warren than are those focused on issues, her numbers are about the same across those groups in South Carolina.

Regardless of how they rate the importance of a candidate's positions on the issues, Nevada and South Carolina Democrats seem to differ over who can best handle the top issues facing the field. On health care, South Carolina's likely voters favor Biden -- 34% say he'd do the best job on it vs. 17% for Sanders and 16% for Warren -- while those in Nevada give Sanders an edge -- 32% say the Vermonter would do the best job on health care, 25% Biden, 17% Warren.

In Nevada, there's a massive divide within likely caucusgoers over health care along ideological lines, mirroring the debate the candidates have had publicly over the merits of "Medicare for All." Fully 50% of liberal likely caucusgoers say they trust Sanders most on health care with 20% naming Warren and 15% Biden, while Sanders trails Biden by 11 points among moderate and conservative likely caucusgoers (31% Biden, 20% Sanders and 14% Warren). The ideological gap is narrower in South Carolina.

Biden holds a wide edge overall on each of the five issues tested in South Carolina (health care, the climate crisis, gun policy, the economy and immigration. In Nevada, however, things get tighter outside of health care. On no other issue does a single candidate earn the trust of even 25% of likely caucusgoers, with Sanders, Biden and Warren clustered near the top across all five.

Rating Trump

Looking beyond the primaries, the President's approval rating in Nevada -- likely to be a critical battleground state in 2020 -- is underwater, 51% disapprove while 41% approve. That's about the same as it was last October just before Democrats won a Senate seat there, one of two picked up from Republicans in the 2018 midterms. In South Carolina, Trump's ratings outpace his national marks, which currently hover around 40% approval, with 49% approving and 47% disapproving. In both states, there is a 90-point gap between where Republicans and Democrats stand on Trump's approval, with independents tilting negative.

The surveys were conducted from September 22 through 26, during which time House Democrats announced a formal impeachment inquiry into the President. Looking at interviews conducted before and after the announcement of the inquiry, there does not appear to be a shift in Trump's ratings.

The Republican Party in both states has canceled its Republican nominating contest for 2020. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents largely back their party's decision, though. In South Carolina, 62% approve of canceling the primary, while 52% approve of the Nevada GOP's cancellation of its caucus. But even among those Republicans and Republican-leaners who disapprove of the decision to cancel the primary or caucus, the President is still deeply popular (83% approve of his job performance in Nevada, 74% in South Carolina).

The CNN polls in Nevada and South Carolina were conducted by telephone among random samples of adults in each state. In Nevada, results among the 1,203 adults have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, it is 7.1 points for results among the 324 likely Democratic caucusgoers. In South Carolina, results among 1,200 adults carry an error margin of 3.4 percentage points, while those among the 406 likely Democratic primary voters have an error margin of 5.9 points.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 775686

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1066871814
Lake572681031
Allen43500701
Hamilton37653427
St. Joseph37508568
Elkhart29882471
Tippecanoe23732232
Vanderburgh23634405
Porter19690327
Johnson19020394
Hendricks18271323
Clark13730199
Madison13719348
Vigo12949256
Monroe12691180
LaPorte12645225
Delaware11218198
Howard10832237
Kosciusko9851124
Hancock8855150
Bartholomew8343157
Warrick8216157
Floyd8128183
Grant7457181
Boone7289105
Wayne7273201
Morgan6988143
Marshall6376117
Dubois6327118
Cass6130112
Noble607391
Dearborn605878
Henry6001111
Jackson520977
Shelby514898
Lawrence5020128
Gibson471697
Montgomery464792
Clinton462755
DeKalb461485
Harrison459277
Huntington429082
Whitley421045
Steuben414561
Miami411573
Jasper403957
Knox397291
Putnam388762
Wabash373884
Adams358956
Ripley354571
Jefferson351487
White341854
Daviess3110100
Wells305981
Greene298485
Decatur294393
Posey288235
Fayette287764
Scott285458
LaGrange278873
Clay277649
Washington257638
Randolph248583
Jennings243349
Spencer240531
Fountain239050
Starke231559
Owen226759
Sullivan224143
Fulton210446
Jay204132
Carroll200623
Orange194456
Perry193139
Vermillion183444
Rush179127
Tipton174348
Franklin173935
Parke157816
Pike144034
Blackford138732
Pulaski124748
Newton124137
Benton111615
Brown106743
Crawford106716
Martin92715
Warren88715
Switzerland8568
Union73910
Ohio58711
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1132798

Reported Deaths: 20530
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1312911496
Cuyahoga1180592268
Hamilton830231263
Montgomery541901064
Summit491891018
Lucas43982835
Butler40324615
Stark34056941
Lorain26232511
Warren25125312
Mahoning22881614
Lake21602397
Clermont20592261
Delaware19295138
Licking16977227
Fairfield16959207
Trumbull16940493
Medina16019278
Greene15721254
Clark14439309
Portage13548219
Wood13411201
Allen12124245
Richland11870214
Miami11140229
Wayne9344228
Columbiana9282236
Muskingum9207137
Pickaway8796123
Marion8774140
Tuscarawas8756257
Erie8220166
Ashtabula7318180
Hancock7080135
Ross7070165
Geauga7032153
Scioto6887108
Belmont6261179
Lawrence6033106
Union595149
Jefferson5787162
Huron5678122
Sandusky5536130
Darke5476131
Seneca5391128
Washington5391111
Athens528660
Auglaize510587
Mercer492885
Shelby487798
Knox4678112
Ashland450198
Madison450066
Defiance444599
Fulton443275
Putnam4366104
Crawford4152112
Brown414163
Preble3988107
Logan396379
Clinton395667
Ottawa378281
Highland370768
Williams361878
Champaign351760
Guernsey334054
Jackson324954
Perry300550
Morrow298544
Fayette291350
Hardin280465
Henry279067
Coshocton275161
Holmes2735102
Van Wert254465
Gallia254150
Adams253658
Pike247137
Wyandot236557
Hocking224163
Carroll203349
Paulding181542
Meigs153940
Monroe139446
Noble138739
Harrison115738
Morgan112024
Vinton88217
Unassigned04
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