Joe Biden Gets Post-Announcement Poll Bounce

There's some very good news for Joe Biden in the first polls taken after he entered the Presidential race.

It’s been less than a week since former Vice-President Joe Biden announced his entry into the race for the Democratic nomination for President and, so far at least, things seem to be going well for him. First we got the news that Biden had raised more than $6 million on his first day of fundraising, a number nearly equal to what many candidates had raised in the entire first quarter of 2019, but several new polls show him extending the lead he already had among the immense field of nearly two dozen Democratic candidates.

First up, the new Morning Consult weekly tracking poll shows Biden getting at least a six-point bounce after his announcement:

Call it the Biden Bump.

Already the front-runnerin early polls, Joe Biden is getting a significant bounce out of his campaign rollout, according to Morning Consult’s weekly tracking poll of the Democratic presidential race.

Biden, who announced his bid last Thursday and held his first rally Monday in Pittsburgh, is now the first choice of more than a third of those who plan to participate in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus, with 36 percent of Democratic voters saying they prefer the former vice president as the party’s nominee to take on President Donald Trump next year. That is a 6-point increase from last week, when Biden led the pack with 30 percent.

The poll was conducted April 22-28, surveying 15,475 voters who plan to vote in a Democratic primary or caucus. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percentage point.

Biden’s mini-surge gives him a 14-point lead over the second-place candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is at 22 percent.

Other than Biden and Sanders, there are no other candidates in double digits in this poll. The third-place candidate in Elizabeth Warren at 9%, followed by Pete Buttigieg at 8%, Kamala Harris at 7%, and Beto O’Rourke at 5%. All of the other candidates are at 3% or less in the poll. As noted, part of this poll was taken before Biden got into the race so it’s not entirely clear what impact his announcement actually had on the race as measured by Morning Consult. We’ll have to wait for the release of the next tracking poll next week to see that I suppose.

In addition to the Morning Consult poll, CNN released a new poll this morning that shows the former Vice-President getting an impressive bounce from his campaign announcement:

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement of a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination earned him an 11-point polling bounce, leaving him head and shoulders above the rest of the Democratic candidates.A new CNN poll conducted by SSRS after Biden’s announcement on Thursday shows 39% of voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents saying he is their top choice for the nomination, up from 28% who said the same in March.That puts Biden more than 20 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — who holds 15% support in the poll — and roughly 30 points ahead of the next strongest candidate, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (8%).

Warren ranks about evenly with South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (7%), former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (6%) and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (5%), who round out the list of those earning 5% or more in the poll. The remaining 17 candidates tested all held the support of 2% or less.

Biden’s surge in support solidifies his status as the front-runner in a race that now has 20 candidates in the Democratic field. Biden’s early campaign message has been centered around taking on President Donald Trump more directly rather than his Democratic counterparts — and the President has noticed, spending time attacking Biden repeatedly on Twitter and Fox News in recent days. Biden also has highlighted his close personal ties to former President Barack Obama, releasing a campaign video on Tuesday that interspersed images of his vice presidency with Obama’s remarks during his Medal of Freedom ceremony.

Biden’s lead extends across most every major demographic or political group, though it shrinks some among younger voters (31% Biden to 19% Sanders among those under age 45), liberals (32% Biden to 19% Sanders) and whites (29% Biden to 15% Sanders among white voters).

Still, only about a third of potential Democratic voters with a preference in the race (36%) say they will definitely back the candidate they currently support, 64% say they could still change their minds. Those who say they are locked in are more apt to back Biden: 50% in that group support him, 21% Sanders, 8% Warren.

When asked who in the field they’d most like to hear more about, aside from the candidate they currently support, the names which rise to the top largely match those near the top of the horserace. But the order is shuffled: Harris holds the top slot, mentioned by 23% of potential Democratic voters. Warren follows at 20%, Biden at 19%, Buttigieg at 17%, Senator Cory Booker and O’Rourke each land at 15% and 12% name Sanders.

Biden remains deeply popular among potential Democratic voters, according to the poll, with 81% saying they have a favorable view of the former vice president, exactly the same as when CNN last polled on his favorability rating in December.

All but 7% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters know Biden well enough to have an impression of him, but there’s less certainty about the former Delaware senator’s long record. Only half (49%) of potential Democratic voters say they know at least a fair amount about his positions as a senator, half (51%) say they know very little.

Even among his current supporters, 40% say they know just a little or nothing at all about those positions. Younger Democrats are especially fuzzy on his record, with 62% of those under age 45 saying they know little or nothing about his record in the Senate.

Aside from Biden’s rise, Buttigieg is the only other candidate who made meaningful gains compared with a CNN survey in March, climbing six points in support. Buttigieg’s favorability rating among potential Democratic voters has also improved, from 11% favorable in late January following his announcement of a presidential exploratory committee to 38% now that he has announced a campaign; 12% now have an unfavorable view.

These latest national numbers have had a noticeable impact on the state of the race as measured by the RealClearPolitics polling average. In those numbers, which factor in both of the polls noted above, Biden stands in first place at 32.4%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 21%. There are presently no other candidates averaging double digits in the field, but the next group of candidates, who are averaging between 7.4% and 6.0% include Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Beto O’Rourke. Cory Booker comes in at exactly 3.0% and all of the other candidates are averaging below 2%. Only two of these polls consist of polling that was conducted in whole or in part after Biden’s announcement, so it’s likely we’ll see more of a bounce for the Vice-President when some of the older polls release updated numbers in the coming weeks.

Finally, in addition to those national polls, a new New Hampshire poll shows the former Vice-President taking a somewhat surprising lead over Bernie Sanders in the state that will hold the nation’s first primary election:

A new poll showed Joe Biden leads among New Hampshire Democratic primary voters while President Trump trails a generic Democrat. 

Trump had support in a general election from 40 percent of New Hampshire voters in the The Suffolk University/Boston Globe, compared to a generic Democrat who was supported by 43 percent. A significant percentage of voters, 11 percent, said they were undecided and 6 percent said they would support a third-party candidate. 

In the Democratic race, the poll showed the former vice president had support from 20 percent of New Hampshire Democrats. South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tied for second place with support from 12 percent each.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.),who was the top choice for 8 percent of Democrats, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who was the top choice for 6 percent, trailed the top three. 

“Despite the dauntingly large number of candidates potentially on the New Hampshire ballot, more than half of possible Democratic primary voters are split among just four names: Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg and Warren,” Suffolk University Political Research Center Director David Paleologos said in a statement about the findings. 

“It will be challenging for one of the lesser-known candidates to vault over Biden, two senators from neighboring states, and Buttigieg, the youthful alternative with great momentum, given their respective bases—even with more than one in four New Hampshire voters still undecided,” he added. 

with these new numbers, the RealClearPolitics average for the Granite State shows Biden in the lead at 20.3%, Sanders in second place at 19.3%, and Pete Buttigieg in third place at 12. 7%. No other candidate is averaging double digits in the state, and only Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke. and Cory Booker are averaging 3% or better. All the other candidates are averaging under 2%.

Previous polling in the Granite State had shown Sanders with a lead over Biden and the rest of the field, presumably due to the fact that he had decisively defeated Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016, an outcome that proved to be a turning point for his campaign, and the fact that he is well-known in the state due to its proximity to Vermont. The fact that Biden was able to knock Sanders off his perch shows that New Hampshire is likely to be competitive for Democrats in 2020 and that Sanders is not assured of a repeat of what happened in the state in 2016.

It’s not unusual for candidates to get a favorable bump in their poll number after they formally enter a race, of course, so to that extent what’s happening here isn’t surprising. At the same time, though, Biden’s post-announcement bump is better than any other candidate has gotten so far in the race and while it’s partly a reflection of name recognition and it’s far too early to say anything decisive about the race, this is a fairly significant gain. Additionally, these numbers appear to be the best that the former Vice-President has done in any poll for his party’s nomination. His 1988 campaign, for example, ended far too quickly for him to make much of an impact and in 2008 he was far behind Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards before finally dropping out of the race shortly after the Iowa Caucuses.

The question going forward for Biden, of course, is whether he can sustain numbers like this or whether they will fade as the race goes on. To be certain, it is unlikely that he’ll be able to maintain this momentum throughout the race and there will be moments in the future when he will be more seriously challenged for the front-runner spot whether it’s by Bernie Sanders or some other candidate. Additionally, Biden’s own penchant for gaffes could end up manifesting itself at some point in the future. For the moment, though, these numbers show that Biden’s campaign rollout has been successful and that’s going to help going forward.

Update: A new Quinnipiac poll also shows Biden with a big post-announcement bounce:

Former Vice President Joseph Biden is surging among Democrats and voters leaning Democratic, with 38 percent of the vote, followed by 12 percent for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 11 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and 10 percent for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today.

California Sen. Kamala Harris has 8 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners, with 5 percent for former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas. No other Democratic contender gets more than 2 percent. This compares to results of a March 28 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University National Poll, showing Biden with 29 percent, Sanders with 19 percent, O’Rourke with 12 percent and Harris with 8 percent.

In today’s survey among Democrats and Democratic leaners:

– 56 percent say Biden has the best chance to beat President Donald Trump, followed by Sanders at 12 percent;

– 44 percent say Biden would be the best leader, with Sanders and Warren at 11 percent each;

– 23 percent say Biden has the best policy ideas, with Warren at 19 percent.

Among Democrats, 25 percent want a presidential candidate who focuses on fighting President Trump, while 70 percent want a candidate who focuses on other national issues. 

“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.

“The good news for Mayor Pete Buttigieg is that voters seem ready to accept a gay man as president. The bad news for Buttigieg is that voters believe it just isn’t going to happen.” 

With these numbers factored into the RealClearPolitics averages, Biden now stands with an average of 32.4%, followed by Sanders at 19.4,%, Warren at 9.4%, Buttigieg at 8.4%, Harris at 7.2%, O’Rourke at 5.6%, Booker falling to 2.2%, and all the other candidates under 2%.

FILED UNDER: Bernie Sanders, Campaign 2020, Joe Biden, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    Well, since I have no great reluctance to gloat when I’m right, I have to admit I was wrong. I thought the air might go out of Biden with the announcement. I believe I predicted he’d see his numbers drop after two weeks. It’s not two weeks yet, but even if there’s a bit of a down-slope he’ll be above where he started pre-announcement.

    I have no enthusiasm for Biden, but when you look at the states we need to take – MI, WI, PA – Biden is the closest thing we have at the moment to a guided missile locked on to those voters. Someone needs to show they can take back those three states, or it’ll be hard to argue against Biden.

  2. James Joyner says:

    While I’d prefer a 60-year-old Biden to the 76-year-old we have, I prefer him to the other leading candidates right now. I’m surprised that the “handsy” issue seems not to have phased him one bit at this juncture.

  3. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:
    We have passed the high water mark of call-out culture and cancel culture. Northam is still governor of Virginia. Joy Reed is still on the air. James Franco still has a career. And a canary in the coal mine: a YA author who’d been bullied into pulling her book reversed herself and decided to publish. Scan the comments section at the NYT article: basically 100% support for the author, and that’s among NYT subscribers, not exactly wild-eyed conservatives as a group.

  4. Jen says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’m really glad to see that she’s decided to go ahead with the book. Early reads were very positive.

    On the topic at hand, I’m glad to see that NH is looking less locked-in for Sanders. Trump’s support here is very solid (as evidenced by the 40% who say they will vote for him). We only have 4 measly Electoral College votes, but with the “wrong” Democratic candidate (and no I have no idea who would be a wrong candidate, that depends much on the Republican destruction machine), I think that NH could end up going for Trump in the general election.

  5. Teve says:

    I’m not surprised that people can distinguish a gross scumbag abuser like Trump from a benevolent boundary-trampler like Biden.

    I still hope somebody else is the eventual nominee, but if it’s Biden I’ll fight off a pack of starving hyenas to vote for him against Trump.

  6. Teve says:

    Whoever wins the nomination, early indications are that turnout will be through the roof.

  7. Kit says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We have passed the high water mark of call-out culture and cancel culture.

    I noticed that Disney (silently?) brought back James Gunn of Guardians of the Galaxy fame.

  8. Kylopod says:

    @Jen: NH is the clearest 2016 Clinton state that Trump could win in 2020, but I have trouble thinking of a plausible map where it would matter one way or the other. Dems absolutely need to win all of the Big Three (WI, MI, PA) or alternately lose one but win AZ or FL. If they do, they win the election even without NH, and if they don’t, Trump winning NH would just be icing on the cake for him.

  9. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner: Everyone has known Biden is handsy forever, and that it’s basically good natured. I’m glad it came up as an issue early, so we can see how effective it was going to be at derailing him, and I’m glad it didn’t derail him (because, well, sanity).

    I don’t think we are at a dramatic high water mark for the callout culture, as @Michael Reynolds says, but that we are seeing the limits of it. We haven’t seen anyone get hounded out of politics for Biden-level actions before, and we’re likely not going to.

    I wouldn’t draw any conclusions about Northam, as Virginia is special — not only has apparently every white person in the state appeared in blackface (are there real black people in Virginia, or are they just white folks in blackface? Someone should investigate), the Lt. Gov has very serious accusations against him.

    If there was a turning point in the callout culture, it was probably Disney firing and then rehiring James Gunn for dumb tweets after a campaign of right wingers.

    I’m hesitant to compare politics and entertainment though, because we should have different standards. Al Franken, the ass-grabbing comedian, is boorish but kind of quaint compared to every other scandal in Hollywood. Al Franken, the ass-grabbing Senator, is betraying the public trust.

    If he were Al Franken, the ass-grabbing police officer, his actions would be even worse, as he would be betraying the public trust with an implicit threat of violence if the people attached to the asses objected.

  10. EddieInCA says:

    I gotta say that I was an early “NO”, on Biden. But seeing how he played Trump with his announcement, he’s growing on me. I was leaning for Harris, but now i’m thinking she might be better as a #2 to Biden. Biden/Harris would offer up a pretty large slice of the various Dem constituencies.

    I think Biden is the best qualified to play on Trump’s field, and win. My only fear is Bernie mucking it up again. He’s already going after Biden in ways that will only help the GOP.

    Go. Away. Bernie.

  11. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: From the article you link to:

    After Delacorte sent out advance reader copies of the novel to reviewers, librarians and booksellers, many of the early responses were positive. But those were soon drowned out by blistering critiques. “This book is about slavery, a false oppression narrative that equates having legitimately dangerous magical powers that kill people with being an oppressed minority, like a person of color,” a reader wrote on Goodreads.

    Zhao’s book sounds like an X-Men knockoff, but with slavery. It might be a lovely X-Men knockoff, and do new and amazing things with that, but the criticisms could easily be applied to the X-Men. Sigh.

    As an aside — X-Men: The Last Stand is a bit of a mess, but it is my favorite of the X-Men movies. If we discovered people walking around with the ability to kill everyone near them, we would respond with fear, and try to register, regulate and ultimately take away or “cure” these abilities. It’s a gun-rights/regulation movie, with the x-men on the wrong side.

  12. Gustopher says:

    When asked who in the field they’d most like to hear more about, aside from the candidate they currently support, the names which rise to the top largely match those near the top of the horserace. But the order is shuffled: Harris holds the top slot, mentioned by 23% of potential Democratic voters. Warren follows at 20%, Biden at 19%, Buttigieg at 17%, Senator Cory Booker and O’Rourke each land at 15% and 12% name Sanders.

    People don’t want to hear more about Bernie. I wonder why that is? Could it be that BernieBros are hurting his campaign? Or is he just topping out his support so people know enough about him to reject him?

  13. James Pearce says:

    Not only did Biden get a big post-announcement boost, but his support among women is unmatched.

  14. James Pearce says:

    Also, as far as “cancel culture” reaching it’s nadir, don’t count on it. Neither Amelie Wen Zhao nor James Gunn did anything to deserve being “canceled,” but what happens to this generation’s Hunter S. Thompson (hell, Jim Thompson) or Charles Bukowski or Robert Crumb?

    The correct answer to that question is that this generation will not have a Thompson or a Bukowski or a Crumb. RIP to the weirdos, banned by the HR handbook.