Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders fell to third place for the first time in the 2020 presidential primary Tuesday.
Former Vice President Joe Biden still commanded a sizeable lead, earning 38% of support among respondents. Second place went to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who enjoyed a light surge to earn 12% in the poll. Sanders earned 11%, just enough to place third, according to the poll published by Quinnipiac University Tuesday.
In fourth place, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg earned 10% support, showing his quick surge to popularity in Democratic polling. (RELATED: Biden Campaign Video Uses Obama Medal Of Freedom Speech As De Facto Endorsement)
“The Democratic primary race suddenly gets real with a fast start by former Vice President Joe Biden and a very clear indication from voters that he is the only candidate who can send President Trump packing 18 months from now,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
CNN analyst Harry Enten asserted that Sanders needed to stop worrying about fighting Biden and focus more on not losing the progressive vote to Warren.
Sanders should worry less about catching Biden right now and more on falling behind Warren (which he already did in one national poll today). https://t.co/QErU0Hcsfy
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) May 1, 2019
“Sanders should worry less about catching Biden right now, and more on falling behind Warren (which he already did in one national poll today),” he wrote on Twitter.
Founder of political statistics site FiveThirtyEight Nate Silver focused on Warren’s good fortune, and cautiously mentioned the fact that Warren’s surge came after she called for Congress to impeach President Donald Trump.
Not sure if it’s a coincidence, but Warren’s mini-surge in the polls comes after a period where she spoke with more clarity about impeachment than other Democrats, and tonight’s developments are liable to increase the salience of that issue.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) May 1, 2019
“Not sure if it’s a coincidence, but Warren’s mini-surge in the polls comes after a period where she spoke with more clarity about impeachment than other Democrats, and tonight’s developments are liable to increase the salience of that issue,” he declared on Twitter.
Biden had been doing well in polling before he entered the race, his numbers remaining strong even as he weathered multiple scandals involving his unwelcome physical contact with women. The former vice president experienced a surge in the polls shortly after announcing his bid, cementing his lead in the Democratic primary for the time being.
Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,044 voters nationwide from April 26 through April 29. The poll carried a margin of error of 5.4 percentage points in either direction.