The Rolling Stone Politics 2020 Democratic Primary Leaderboard
When we moved Elizabeth Warren into the No. 1 slot a couple of weeks ago, it was a tough call. But momentum has continued to swing in her favor. She has opened up a six-point lead over Joe Biden in a new poll of early voting states, with voters far more likely to see her as both fighting for them and able to parry President Donald Trump’s attacks.
The deeper one digs into polling, the rosier the situation looks for Warren. She’s the most broadly acceptable Democrat in the race. In a recent NBC poll, she counted 25 percent support each from party voters under 35 and over 65. Even Democrats who prefer someone else seem to like Warren. Her advantage in Iowa, for example, vaults to 12 percent if voters’ first and second choices are counted. Perhaps most important for future success, Warren has grown her support among black voters to nearly 20 percent, suggesting that her message of “structural change” is resonating outside of white, educated liberal circles.
Biden, meanwhile, finds himself pinned down at the center of an impeachment fight, created by Trump and Rudy Giuliani, who pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden and his son Hunter. Even giving Biden every benefit of the doubt, this saga is offering voters a preview of the down-and-dirty general-election fight. Biden is playing adequate defense, but not showing much liveliness on the counter attack.