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: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 868656

Reported Deaths: 10768
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102154707
Cuyahoga865201153
Hamilton64744448
Montgomery43516419
Summit35250762
Lucas31663631
Butler31268232
Stark26096443
Warren19830142
Lorain19296229
Mahoning17471339
Lake16250154
Clermont16128112
Delaware1453680
Licking13326137
Fairfield1294981
Trumbull12920317
Greene12174141
Medina11732168
Clark11058265
Wood10457158
Allen9988127
Portage9454111
Miami924473
Richland9236118
Marion7486113
Tuscarawas7440183
Columbiana7409124
Pickaway732150
Wayne7111172
Muskingum710342
Erie6221130
Ross5558100
Hancock555292
Scioto542764
Geauga515955
Darke473492
Lawrence460658
Union456928
Ashtabula456473
Sandusky439562
Mercer435089
Seneca433866
Huron432841
Auglaize424164
Shelby422522
Jefferson422469
Belmont421145
Washington394240
Athens38389
Putnam378075
Madison358129
Knox356122
Ashland349038
Fulton340443
Defiance334486
Crawford325774
Preble322737
Brown315821
Logan312132
Ottawa296543
Clinton291543
Williams280367
Highland279018
Jackson265845
Guernsey257126
Champaign253428
Fayette239530
Morrow23464
Perry233718
Holmes226774
Henry221953
Hardin215533
Coshocton206922
Van Wert203445
Gallia199826
Wyandot196751
Pike178017
Adams177715
Hocking173224
Carroll157616
Paulding145321
Noble121040
Meigs109724
Monroe102232
Harrison89921
Morgan83931
Vinton71314
Unassigned00
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