Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris Hold Narrow Leads Over Trump in General Election Matchups


Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris Hold Narrow Leads Over Trump in General Election Matchups

Joe Biden leads the Democratic nomination race by nine points over Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in Change Research’s latest national poll. In addition, Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Kamala Harris each hold a narrow lead over President Trump in general election matchups. Read on for additional results on the state of the horse race. 

Biden, Sanders, and Warren Lead Across Most Voter Groups

Biden (31%) has a nine-point lead over Sanders (22%) among likely 2020 Democratic primary voters. Elizabeth Warren takes third with 15%, followed by Pete Buttigieg (9%), Kamala Harris (8%), Beto O’Rourke (4%), and Stacey Abrams, Andrew Yang, and Cory Booker (all 2%). All other candidates poll at 1% or less. 

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Women voters also prefer Biden (28%), with Sanders in second place at 21% and Warren close behind at 18%. Men voters select the same top three, though with Biden further ahead: Biden (34%), Sanders (24%), and Warren (11%). 

Among white voters, Biden (25%), Sanders (24%), and Warren (17%) take first, second, and third. Black voters show a strong preference for Biden, lending him 52% of their support compared to 12% for both Sanders and Warren. Latinx voters are the only racial group to prefer Sanders (30%) to Biden (26%), with O’Rourke (13%) rising to third place.

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The leaders are rearranged slightly when results are broken down by age cohort. Sanders has a strong lead among 18-24 year old voters, receiving 38% of their support compared to 19% for Warren and 14% for Biden. 35-49 year old voters have a one-point preference for Sanders with 25%, with Biden close behind at 24% and Warren in third with 17%. Biden has a strong lead with 41% of support from 50-64 year olds and 44% for those 65 and older. 

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Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Harris Lead Trump by One Point in General Election Matchups

All three of the leading Democratic candidates (Biden, Sanders, and Warren), plus Kamala Harris (who sits at fifth place in the Democratic nomination race) narrowly lead President Trump in the popular vote in hypothetical general election matchups. In each of those four scenarios, over 90% of those who identify as Democrats vote for the Democratic candidate, over 96% of Republicans vote for Trump, and Independents prefer Trump by a margin ranging from six to 11 points.


Joe Biden leads Trump by one point, with Biden taking 47% of the vote compared to Trump’s 46%. 92% of Democrats vote Biden and 96% of Republicans vote Trump; Independents prefer Trump by a seven-point margin, 46% to 39%. 

Bernie Sanders performs the same, beating President Trump by one point at 47% to 46%. 90% of Democrats vote Sanders and 96% of Republicans vote Trump; 47% of Independents prefer Trump, while 41% prefer Sanders.  

Results in an Elizabeth Warren-President Trump matchup are also the same, with Warren at 47% over Trump’s 46%. 94% of Democrats would support Warren and 97% of Republicans would support Trump; Independents prefer Trump 47% to 36%.

Kamala Harris also leads Trump by one point, garnering 46% to Trump’s 45%. 92% of Democrats vote Harris and 96% of Republicans vote Trump. Independents prefer Trump by a ten-point margin, 46% to 36%. 

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Key Takeaways

  • Biden (31%), Sanders (22%), and Warren (15%) lead the race toward the Democratic nomination

  • Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Harris lead the popular vote in hypothetical general election matchups

Limited Toplines and Poll Info

Toplines _ Change Research National Poll

Sample and Methodology _ National Poll 5

Toplines _ Change Research National PollSample and Methodology _ National Poll 5

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Change Research surveyed 2,904 likely 2020 voters (1,420 likely 2020 Democratic primary voters and 1,248 likely 2020 Republican primary voters) from May 18-21, 2019. The survey was conducted online, using Change Research’s Bias Correct Engine. Change Research reaches voters via targeted online ads that point people to an online survey instrument. The Bias Correct Engine dynamically delivers large samples that accurately reflect the demographics of a population. Post-stratification was done on age, gender, ethnicity, and 2016 presidential vote. The margin of error for the full sample, as traditionally calculated, is ± 1.8%.