Carson leads in National Poll; Biden Passes Sanders

For the first time since July 12, Donald Trump is not ahead in a national poll. Instead, Ben Carson has the lead in this IBD/TIFF poll from 9/26 to 10/1. The full results:

  1. Carson: 24
  2. Trump: 17
  3. Rubio: 11
  4. Fiorina: 9
  5. Bush: 8
  6. Cruz: 6
  7. Kasich: 4
  8. Paul: 3
  9. Christie, Huckabee: 2
  10. Jindal: 1
  11. Santorum, Graham, Pataki: 0

The next tier after Trump and Carson — that of Fiorina, Rubio, and Bush — remains unchanged.  After them, Ted Cruz continues to lay low in the mid-single digits, a perfect spot for now. (His feature column is coming later this week.) The rest of the field remains noncompetitive and within the margin of error of each other.


On the Democratic side, the same poll revealed the following:

  1. Clinton: 42
  2. Biden: 22
  3. Sanders: 18

In all but a few, isolated national Democratic polls, it is Sanders who finishes ahead of Biden for second place. The IDB/TIFF poll is the first time since May where Biden is four points ahead of him, though. Unlike Trump’s decline, however, this is not yet a trend.  The polling figures of both Sanders and Biden bounce around from poll to poll.

Biden’s numbers continue to be remarkable, considering he hasn’t entered the race and seems increasingly unlikely to do so. His decision to skip the first Democratic debate is the latest sign that he’s leaning against jumping in. His greatest impact seems to be stripping support from Hillary Clinton. Her biggest leads are when pollsters survey their subjects without Biden as an option. As 538 tells us:

“Four national polls released this month (ABC News/Washington Post, CBS News/New York Times, YouGov and CNN/ORC) asked Democratic voters who they’d vote for with Biden in the race and without him. Clinton led Bernie Sanders by an average of 44 percent to 26 percent with Biden in the race. Clinton’s 19-percentage-point edge in those polls equals her lead in the Huffington Post/Pollster aggregate. Without Biden, Clinton’s lead on Sanders jumps to 28 percentage points, 57 percent to 29 percent.”

The conclusion? Biden, a fellow member of the establishment and Obama Administration, is pulling support from Clinton. Sanders is relying on Biden to split the vote of Clinton’s key demographics — longtime Democrats and minorities. If he never enters, though, Clinton consolidates those voters and doubles up Sanders’s support.

As a result, if you hear the shouts of “Run, Joe, Run,” you might be listening to Camp Sanders.

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