Bye-bye Biden? Warren leads in new national poll, tied for lead in another

Bear in mind, these results are trickling in *before* Democratic voters have digested the allegations of corruption made against Biden in the Ukraine matter. Even if they opt not to believe them, how many will conclude that swing voters will believe them next fall and start discounting Biden’s alleged “electability” advantage?

Imagine if Trump ends up being impeached for trying to make trouble abroad for a candidate who was never going to be his general election opponent anyway.

A game-changing new poll from Quinnipiac:

Not only is 27 percent the best Warren’s ever done in a national poll, it’s also the first time she’s led Biden outright in any national poll. As usual, she leads him in enthusiasm too: Fully 70 percent of Dems say they’d be excited to see her as nominee versus 56 percent who say the same of Biden.

The real alarm bell for Grandpa Joe, though, is the split among black voters, as Philip Klein rightly notes:

Back in a July poll, Warren was essentially in a three-way tie for second place, with 15 percent nationally, according to Quinnipiac. In that poll, she was at 20 percent among white voters, but way back at six percent among black voters. In a Wednesday poll, she has vaulted to the top, with 27 percent overall, just edging out Joe Biden, at 25 percent. But now among black voters, she’s in second place, at 19 percent.

In California, it’s a similar story. A new LA Times poll finds Warren jumping to a 29 percent to 22 percent lead in the delegate-rich state overall, but, she’s only trailing Biden 32 percent to 24 percent among black voters. Sen. Kamala Harris, who is both black and from California, was at 18 percent among the group.

Not only is Warren now second to Biden among black voters, trailing him 40/19, but Bernie Sanders has 12 percent of that group. If Bernie fades and black progressives begin drifting towards Warren, suddenly she’d be competitive with Joe among voters who are supposed to be his “firewall,” the group that will offset his losses among other demographics by preferring him overwhelmingly. Blacks no longer prefer him overwhelmingly, according to today’s Quinnipiac data. And given the general drift towards Warren in all polling lately, it’s likely that his lead among them will shrink rather than grow.

Could the Quinnipiac poll be an outlier? Seems unlikely. This new data that dropped this morning from YouGov confirms that the race is a coin flip right now, with Warren and Biden neck and neck in the mid-20s.

When Democratic voters are asked whom they’re considering voting for, Warren leads Biden 54/47. There are other polls lately that look like this too — Emerson recently had Biden up 25/23 and NBC/WSJ had it 31/25 in mid-September. There’s no reason, in other words, to think Quinnipiac and YouGov are “bad polls” for Biden or “good polls” for Warren. They seem to accurately reflect the state of the race at the moment, before the impact of the Ukraine stuff has been felt. In fact, as of today, Warren is the first candidate besides Biden to crack 20 percent in the RCP poll of polls since May. She seems to be for real.

“But wait,” you say, “national polls are interesting but ultimately don’t matter. Iowa and New Hampshire are what matter.” Right, true — but Warren’s surging there too. I already posted this new Monmouth poll of New Hampshire yesterday but it’s worth eyeballing the numbers again:

She’s just three points behind Biden in the RCP polling average of the state right now. And Iowa? Warren has led the field there in the last two polls taken, 24/16 over Biden in an Iowa State survey taken in mid-September and 22/20 in a Des Moines Register poll conducted a few days later. She’s up 2.7 points in the RCP average.

If you had to make a bet on the Democratic primaries at this particular moment in time, Warren running the table would look like a fairly solid bet. The question is whether South Carolina’s mostly black Democratic electorate would stick with Biden if he lost the first two states or if they’d break for Warren if she won them. The signs there aren’t great for Biden either, per Politico:

Biden’s level of support in South Carolina makes it his firewall state, but even in South Carolina there are troubling signs of erosion. While he remains on top, among black voters, who are more than 60 percent of the Democratic electorate, Biden has plummeted 19 points in Tyson’s polls. That’s a potential leading indicator of the problems he could face after South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary when many of the minority-heavy Southeastern states — as well as Texas and California — beginning voting on Super Tuesday, March 3, and thereafter.

As strange as it is to imagine after the Democratic field initially ballooned to more than 20 candidates, the actual race could be over quickly once Democrats start voting. Which means Trump will never have a chance to use the Ukraine matter against Biden — but Warren will have lots of chances to use it against Trump. Good lord.

Exit question: Kamala Harris is now at three percent nationally, per Quinnipiac? Was even Scott Walker’s 2016 flameout as embarrassing as this?

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