Biden’s polling lead shaky ahead of 2020 decision

While most polls show the former vice president hovering around 30 percent of the Democratic primary vote, well ahead of second-place Sen. Bernie Sanders, two recent surveys paint a starkly different picture — raising the question of whether Biden is a real front-runner or just has big name-recognition. Those polls show far more Democratic voters undecided about which candidate to support, and they pegged Biden’s backing at a much less intimidating 9 to 12 percent…

Most polls of the 2020 Democratic contest work like this: A telephone interviewer reads a lengthy list of declared and undeclared candidates, or online poll-takers see the whole list on their device. Respondents select from the choices — though some go a different route and volunteer another candidate or say they are undecided.

But critics say that setup forces voters to make a choice they’ve barely considered this early. That makes Biden — and, to a lesser extent, Sanders — an appealing option: Democrats know and almost universally like Biden, even if they haven’t thought a lot about whom they want to take on Trump 21 months from now.