By Paul Steinhauser | Fox News
MANCHESTER, NH – A new poll in the state that holds the first presidential primary in the race for the White House indicates Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has surged and now enjoys a slight 2-point advantage over former Vice President Joe Biden, the longtime front-runner in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
The Monmouth University survey, released Tuesday, also shows Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont fading to a distant third.
WARREN EDGES OUT BIDEN IN NEW IOWA POLL, SANDERS DISTANT THIRD
Warren stands at 27 percent among likely Democratic presidential primary voters in the state, with Biden at 25 percent. Warren’s 2-point edge is well within the survey’s sampling error.
Warren’s support has soared by 19 points from the previous Monmouth poll in the Granite State, which was conducted in May. Biden’s dropped 11 points from that survey.
Sanders, meanwhile, is in third in the new poll, at 12 percent, dropping 6 points from Monmouth’s May survey.
New Hampshire, which votes second in the presidential nominating calendar following the Iowa caucuses, is considered by many political analysts and pundits as a must-win for both Sanders and Warren.
The independent senator from Vermont crushed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire, launching the one-time longshot for the nomination into a marathon battle against the eventual nominee. He’s retained a strong organization and devoted supporters in the state as he bids a second time for the White House.
But Warren, who like Sanders hails from a neighboring state to New Hampshire, has also built up a powerful campaign organization in the Granite State, and has made numerous visits. Warren will return to the state to hold town halls on Wednesday and Friday.
“Warren continues to look stronger with every new poll. She seems to be picking up support across the spectrum with gains coming at the expense of both Biden and Sanders,” said Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray.
The surge from Warren is coming from self-described liberals, among whom she’s up 28 points since the May poll to stand at 39 percent, with Sanders dropping 13 points down to 16 percent. Warren’s also risen 11 points among self-described moderate and conservative voters to stand at 18 percent, with Biden dropping 15 points to stand at 30 percent.
According to the poll, the only other candidate to register in double digits is South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who’s at 10 percent, slightly behind Sanders.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California stands at 3 percent in the survey, with Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, billionaire philanthropist and environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii each at 2 percent. The remaining 10 candidates tested in the record-setting field of Democratic White House hopefuls earned 1 percent or less in the poll.
The Monmouth poll in New Hampshire is one of the qualifying surveys the Democratic National Committee uses for their polling thresholds for candidates to make the cut for the primary debates. Gabbard’s 2 percent showing in the new poll means she’s reached 2 percent in four qualifying polls, allowing her to make the stage at next month’s fourth round of nomination debates.
The poll’s findings are similar to those of the latest poll in Iowa this past weekend. A Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom survey indicated Warren at 22 percent, Biden at 20 percent and Sanders a distant third at 11 percent. The Des Moines Register surveys have long been considered the gold standard in Iowa polling.
A new poll released Tuesday in Nevada, which holds it’s caucus following the New Hampshire primary, also indicates a close contest between Biden and Warren.
A USA Today/Suffolk University survey puts Biden at 23 percent, Warren at 19 percent and Sanders at 14 percent.
The most recent polls in New Hampshire have been all over the board, with one suggesting Sanders holding a lead; another indicating a three-way tie among Biden, Warren and Sanders; and a third pointing to Sanders trailing Biden and Warren.
The Monmouth University poll was conducted from Sept. 17-21, among 401 New Hampshire voters likely to vote in next February’s Democratic presidential primary questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
The poll’s release comes with four-and-a-half months to go until the New Hampshire primary.
“It is important to keep in mind that the race is still very much in flux,” Murray noted. Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.