Biden still Pennsylvania Democrats’ top choice to face Trump in 2020, new poll finds

Joe Biden campaigns in Pittsburgh (Politico - screen capture)

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the top pick among a group of registered Pennsylvania Democrats to run against President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, a new poll shows. 

The 76-year-old former senator and Scranton, Pa. native polled at 30 percent among registered Democrats who participated in the most recent survey from the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College, which was released Thursday.

That’s a blip above Biden’s showing in an F&M poll from July, in which 28 percent of respondents said he was their leading contender for the Democratic nomination. 

F&M polled 482 registered voters in Pennsylvania, including 226 registered Democrats who responded to questions about their party’s presidential candidates. 

The findings have a margin of error of 6.1 percent, meaning poll results could vary as much as six percentage points on any given question. 

As a result, Biden’s actual standing among Pennsylvanians may be as low as 24 percent or as high as 36 percent — enough to give the former veep a comfortable edge in Pennsylvania over the party’s other frontrunners. 

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, and Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, polled at 18 percent and 12 percent, respectively. 

Warren led the pack as voters’ second-choice candidate, however, with 27 percent of Democratic poll participants naming her as their favored candidate if their top pick failed to get the nomination. 

Eight percent of those voters named Pete Buttigeig, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., as their top pick for the Democratic nomination. 

Tulsi Gabbard, the heterodox congresswoman from Hawaii who drew criticism for remarks in the most recent Democratic debate, polled at 2 percent to round out the top-5 candidates in the poll.

The only other candidates who managed to poll above 1 percent were Sens. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, and Michael Bennett, of Colorado. 

In 2016, Trump earned 48 percent of the popular vote in Pennsylvania, which netted him 20 votes in the electoral college that helped him secure the presidency. Many political observers believe Pennsylvania is a critical state for contenders in the 2020 presidential race.