KEY POINTS

  • Joe Biden remains the most electable among all candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination
  • He's also seen as the best able to motivate the Democratic base
  • Biden's supporters seem to be more enthusiastic about him compared to voters supporting the other candidates

Despite mounting travails and polls showing Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, likely beating him in Iowa on February 3, former vice president Joe Biden is still strongly perceived by Democrats as the candidate with the best chance of beating president Donald Trump on November 3.

A new poll produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates shows Democrats are still attuned to the belief Biden remains the candidate with the best chance of wresting the presidency from Trump. Biden's electability score, however, has dipped slightly to 38 percent today from 45 percent in the previous poll in July 2019. Eighteen percent of Americans select progressive candidate Sanders as the best to beat Trump, while 10 percent believe this person to be Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Biden does best in vote preference among likely voters, or those who say they’re registered and certain to vote in their state’s primary or caucuses. His candidacy for the nomination is supported by 34 percent of this group. This compares to Sanders' 22 percent and Warren's 14 percent. Next in line are former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, seven percent; businessman Andrew Yang, six percent; Buttigieg, six percent; and Se. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, four percent.

Among all voters leaning Democrats regardless of registration, the gap between Biden and Sanders stands at only 28 percent as against 24 percent. Analysts note this is because Biden’s support lies among older voters and older people are more likely to be registered.

Democrats also see Biden as the best able to motivate the Democratic base. He topped this category with 32 percent of respondents versus 21 percent for Sanders and 11 percent for Warren. Biden is also seen as the best able to attract independent and moderate voters. The poll shows 29 percent of Democrats holding this opinion as against 17 percent for Sanders and eight percent for Warren. Political pundits said this strength might be influenced by Biden’s high standing among moderates.

Biden's voters also seem to be more enthusiastic about him despite his many gaffes that crop up from time to time. The poll shows half of Biden backers are very enthusiastic about him.

On the minus side of the ledger, 47 percent of Biden’s supporters say they’d consider another candidate. This total, however, compares quite favorably to the 56 percent of those supporting other candidates who said they might still switch support. Biden support has also weakened among those indicating a “definite” support for him. His support from this group is down to 49 percent now from 64 percent in early September 2019.

Biden isn't also seen as the candidate who’s "closest to you on the issues." Sanders tops this category with 24 percent selecting him. Biden is the choice of 22 percent and Warren, 15 percent. All the others Democratic candidates are in the single digits.

A CNN Poll conducted by SSRS January 16 through 19 shows Sanders as the top pick for the party's presidential nominee ahead of the Iowa caucus. The Iowa caucus is noteworthy as the first major contest of the United States presidential primary season. On the other hand, 24 percent favor Biden, who in previous polls was the undisputed favorite among Democrats and their allies. The poll is the first time Biden hasn't held a solo lead in CNN's national polling on the race. The margin between Sanders and Biden is within the poll's margin of error, however.

Leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Trump tossed 'dynamite in to a tinderbox' with the attack Leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Trump tossed 'dynamite in to a tinderbox' with the attack Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Scott Eisen