Poll: Biden now the choice of one in four Democrats, within eight points of Hillary in three-way race with Sanders

How long do you think it’ll take once he’s in the race for him to pass Hillary in the national polls? Three weeks, maybe? Combine the initial post-announcement bounce with a few early ads here and there with the sympathetic media coverage he’ll get in light of his son’s death and he’s a lock to be the frontrunner by Thanksgiving.

Clinton, once the prohibitive front-runner, is now the top choice of 33 percent of registered Democrats and those who lean Democrat, the poll shows. Biden places second with 25 percent and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is at 24 percent…

Adding to the good news for the vice president: His favorability ratings are on the rise. Since the last Bloomberg poll in April, Clinton’s favorability ratings have dropped 10 points, from 48 percent to 38 percent. Biden’s 49 percent favorable score represents a 3-point uptick. He was the only one of a dozen national political figures and entities whose approval rating improved over the summer…

A closer look at the sample of the Democrat and Democrat-leaning poll respondents shows that nationally, Clinton is better liked by women than men—74 percent to 64 percent—while Biden’s favorability is closer to gender-neutral, with 81 percent for women and 79 percent for men. The survey also found those who are married or have children under the age of 18 were more likely to give Biden favorable ratings than Clinton.

Those gender splits are interesting. Hillary has a considerable lead over Sanders among women, 35 percent to 20, but Biden’s favorables are better than hers among both sexes. Is that because he isn’t a candidate yet and hasn’t taken any shots, either from the media or the other candidates, or is it just Biden’s vastly greater personal likability at work?

Tom Bevan noted on Twitter that the trend lines for Her Majesty across various polls are headed straight into the toilet:


Here’s the money question: Is Sanders’s support truly support for him and his policies or is it mostly just “Anyone But Hillary” sentiment? If you think it’s the latter then she’s doomed once Biden gets in. He’ll siphon off most of the Sanders fans, being a much better known pol, and bounce out to a comfortable lead. Add Biden’s total in this poll to the other three candidates’ (Sanders, Webb, and O’Malley) and you’ve got 52 percent who prefer a nominee other than Hillary. I tend to think Sandersmania is for real, though. Biden will pull some of his votes — Berniepalooza only gained a foothold in the first place this year because some Dems wanted an alternative to Clinton — but he’ll still be the purest leftist in the race once Biden is in. If you’re a committed liberal, there’s no reason to peel off from him for Biden — yet. I think we’ll end up with a reasonably tight race for the rest of the year, with some Sanders fans grudgingly shifting to Biden shortly before Iowa and New Hampshire in the name of choosing the least bad viable alternative.

Exit question: Will Biden’s comments about abortion being “always wrong” reduce his competitiveness with Hillary among women? His record is solidly pro-choice but maybe his Senate votes won’t be enough to quell suspicions among feminists that he’d be weaker on the issue in office than Clinton, especially with Team Hillary flogging “war on women” nonsense during the primaries. It’d be like a Republican candidate voting consistently for gun rights in the Senate but declaring that he personally thinks owning a gun is wrong. Would you trust that guy as president to be a staunch defender of the Second Amendment?

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