CNN Poll: Biden leads nationally as Buttigieg rises

Lead political panel discusses.

Posted: Nov 27, 2019 9:42 AM


Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead the newly expanded field of contenders for the Democratic nomination for president, with Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont behind him in a close battle for second, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg joins them in double digits for the first time.

Biden holds 28% support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who are registered to vote, followed by Sanders at 17%, Warren at 14% and Buttigieg at 11%.

No other candidate reaches 4%, meaning the poll does not result in any changes to the lineup for the Democratic National Committee's December debate. A cluster of four candidates stand at 3%, including the latest entrant to the race, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He is joined by Sen. Kamala Harris of California and businessmen Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang. Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Cory Booker of New Jersey have 2% each in the poll.

The findings suggest slight declines in support for Biden and Warren since October, and a modest increase in backing for Buttigieg. Sanders' support remains about the same as it was in October.

A majority of potential Democratic voters remain uncertain about their choices. Just 42% say they have definitely decided on their candidates, about the same as in October, and Biden continues to have an edge among that group of committed voters.

Asked who they would choose if the race came down to the top four instead of the 18 major candidates currently in the running, the order at the top remains the same. Biden continues to hold a lead -- 35% say they would choose him -- with 23% choosing Sanders, 20% Warren and 17% Buttigieg.

Buttigieg's bump in the poll coincides with a well-received debate performance, with 22% who watched or followed news coverage about last week's debate saying he had the best night. Biden lands in second at 16%, Sanders at 10%, Harris and Warren each at 8% and Booker at 5%.

Most potential Democratic voters say they prefer a candidate who aims for policies that have a good chance of becoming law, even if they wouldn't make major changes, over a candidate who aims for policies that would make larger changes (56% feel that way, 36% prefer a candidate who shoots for major change). But when asked which candidate would best handle specific issues, potential Democratic voters are more closely divided between those seeking big changes and those aiming for more incremental progress.

On health care, 28% say Sanders -- an advocate of "Medicare for All" and the elimination of private health insurance -- would best handle the issue. That's about even with the 26% who choose Biden, who has argued against moving to a completely government-run system. Another 19% say they prefer Warren's approach, which ultimately results in government health coverage for all, while 7% choose Buttigieg, and no other candidate has the backing of more than 3% on the issue.

Sanders leads the way more clearly on handling the climate crisis: 27% favor his approach, followed by 21% who prefer Biden and 15% Warren.

Biden holds an edge on the economy, though by a narrower margin than he did in October. About 3 in 10 (29%) prefer him on the issue, down from 38% last month, with Warren at 19% and Sanders at 17%. Buttigieg lands at 7% and Yang at 5% on the issue.

Biden has lost some ground as most trusted on almost all the issues tested, while Buttigieg has made gains nearly across the board.

More potential Democratic voters see Biden as capable of managing the government effectively (86%) than say the same about Sanders (73%), Warren (73%) or Buttigieg (54%). Biden also tops the leading candidates on being able to unite the country rather than divide it (73% say so, vs. 65% for Sanders, 58% for Warren and 54% for Buttigieg).

Sanders (66%), Biden (64%) and Warren (61%) are all closely clustered on being able to bring needed change, with Buttigieg a bit behind at 54%.

Warren holds a clear advantage on having the stamina and sharpness to be president -- 81% say that describes her, compared with 66% for Buttigieg, 65% for Biden and 58% for Sanders.

Sanders' strength is being seen as honest and trustworthy. Nearly 9 in 10 potential Democratic voters (89%) call Sanders honest and trustworthy, vs. 78% for Warren, 75% for Biden and 64% for Buttigieg. That carries through among all adults as well. Overall, 62% see Sanders as honest and trustworthy, making him the only candidate of the top four Democrats plus President Donald Trump who is seen that way by a majority of Americans.

All four tested Democratic candidates outpace Trump on two measures: honesty (62% Sanders, 49% Warren, 47% Biden, 45% Buttigieg, 36% Trump) and uniting the country rather than dividing it (47% Biden, 44% Sanders, 37% Warren, 35% Buttigieg, 31% Trump).

Trump ties Sanders at the top on being able to bring needed change (43% each, followed by Biden at 40%, Warren at 39%, Buttigieg at 35%). Biden leads the field on managing the government effectively (55% Biden, 46% Sanders, 44% Warren, 42% Trump, 36% Buttigieg). While Warren takes the lead on having the stamina and sharpness for the presidency (54% describe Warren that way, 47% Trump, 46% Buttigieg, 44% Biden and 40% Sanders).

One caveat on these figures: A large number (roughly a quarter across attributes) say they are unsure how to answer about Buttigieg. For the other candidates, that number was in the single digits across the board.

Health care (46% extremely important) and gun policy (44% extremely important) continue to rank at the top of voters' issue concerns for 2020. The impeachment inquiry into Trump ranks near the bottom, with 27% calling that extremely important. That rises a bit to 39% among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters, but dips to just 15% among Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters.

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS November 21 through 24 among a random national sample of 1,007 adults reached on landlines or cell phones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. For results among the 431 registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents, it is plus or minus 5.7 percentage points.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1390015

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1541781574
Cuyahoga1361632341
Hamilton989691326
Montgomery681371161
Summit569981051
Lucas51769869
Butler48139663
Stark42350983
Lorain32165539
Warren30497338
Mahoning27564643
Clermont26081297
Lake24873422
Delaware22600147
Licking20818246
Fairfield20789223
Greene20667275
Trumbull20378516
Medina20178290
Clark18235332
Richland16749236
Portage16442231
Wood15973209
Allen14405261
Miami14063261
Muskingum12976155
Wayne12234244
Columbiana12046242
Tuscarawas11248271
Marion10935150
Pickaway10642129
Scioto10585127
Erie9888171
Ross9648177
Lawrence8967125
Hancock8637143
Ashtabula8509187
Geauga8272156
Belmont8262188
Jefferson7736175
Huron7566131
Union743951
Washington7396126
Athens712065
Sandusky6984135
Darke6884137
Knox6839122
Seneca6533137
Ashland6078115
Auglaize596888
Shelby5845104
Brown578272
Mercer565890
Crawford5591117
Defiance5579101
Madison552171
Highland550982
Fulton543583
Clinton535781
Logan520587
Preble5123111
Putnam4909107
Guernsey487664
Williams469982
Perry464454
Champaign454964
Ottawa443584
Jackson436663
Pike400745
Morrow398251
Coshocton393669
Fayette385053
Adams371575
Hardin367570
Gallia356658
Holmes3326111
Henry331869
Van Wert321471
Hocking312370
Wyandot286058
Carroll267052
Paulding247443
Meigs223042
Monroe193149
Noble174442
Morgan170329
Harrison161741
Vinton141919
Unassigned05
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