Friday, April 03, 2020
Joe Biden has emerged as Democrats' top choice in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, but with only bare majority support within his party and a massive enthusiasm gap in a November matchup against President Trump. In the nomination contest, 51% of leaned Democrats now prefer Biden vs. 42% for Sanders.
Yet even as he's advanced in his party, Biden's slipped against Trump in a November matchup. The two are locked into essentially a dead heat among registered voters, 49-47%, Biden-Trump, after a slight Biden lead, 52-45%, in February.
Indeed, strong enthusiasm for Biden among his supporters " at just 24% " is the lowest on record for a Democratic presidential candidate in 20 years of ABC/Post polls. More than twice as many of Trump's supporters are highly enthusiastic about supporting him, 53%. However, Biden makes up some of the difference with those who are "somewhat" enthusiastic. But he still trails Trump by 12 points in the combined measure, 74 vs. 86%.
Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who prefer Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the nomination, 15% say they'd back Trump over Biden in the fall.
There's dj vu in these results: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton found herself in largely the same position four years ago. She, too, had a slim lead among Democrats for the nomination and ran essentially evenly with Trump among registered voters. And she lagged in enthusiasm, with a low of 32% very enthusiastic in September 2016. Biden is 8 points under that mark now.
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