Former Vice President Joe Biden leads the 2020 presidential Democrat field in South Carolina by 31 percent with likely party primary voters, according to a state poll released Sunday.
At 46 percent, Biden attracted more than three times the support of fellow top White House contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who notched 15% of voters surveyed, per the Post and Courier. According to the poll, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) came in at third place with 10 percent, while South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tied for fourth place with 8 percent each.
Additionally, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is polling at 4 percent, placing him in the #5 slot and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) is tied for sixth place with technology entrepreneur Andrew Yang with a mere 2 percent of support. Further, failed Georgia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams, who is said to be flirting with a presidential bid of her own, is tied for seventh place with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) at 1 percent.
Post and Courier reports:
The latest poll shows Biden leads the field among men and women and in all regions of the state. He also is tops among black voters, who account for close to two-thirds of Democratic primary voters in South Carolina.
Biden, who entered the race April 25, also is seen as the most likely candidate to do the one thing many Democratic voters want most — beat Republican Donald Trump.
Nearly nine out of 10 of those polled believe Biden has the best chance to topple Trump. Sanders was the only other candidate to win support from a majority of those polled. Harris and Warren were each considered potential Trump-beaters by about one-third of voters.
The poll surveyed 595 likely party primary voters between May 6-9 and has a margin of error of 4 percent.
The Post and Courier credits Biden’s strong polling numbers to his “deep ties” to leading figures in South Carolina. The newspaper notes the former vice president has made frequent trips to the key primary state over his long tenure in politics and has delivered eulogies at funerals for South Carolina Senators Fritz Hollings and Strom Thurmond.
“He’s always been popular in South Carolina and always maintained good relationships here, so people were really excited about him getting in,” said Kenneth Glover, who serves as chairman of the Orangeburg County Democrat Party.
Moreover, political observers say Biden’s status as a moderate at a time when the Democrat Part is shifting leftward has helped him soar to the top of the polls in Palmetto State.
“He’s not in the scary wing of the party,” said Furman University political scientist Danielle Vinson.
“Voters figure, ‘We know a white man can win the presidency,’ ” she said. “Biden seems to be the safe choice.”