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Biden’s 2020 chances fading as rivals catch up

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks as Senator Bernie Sanders looks on during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by AFP)

Former US Vice President Joe Biden, once viewed as the favorite to win the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, has lost much of his support amid a host of gaffes that have severely marred his image and allowed his rivals to catch up.

A new survey by the Monmouth University Poll showed Monday that the former vice president’s support had dropped to 19 percent.

That’s a double-digit decline from June, when Biden topped the Democratic pack with 32 percent in the same poll in June.

Biden’s fall from grace has given a boost to Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who both overtook the former VP to top the crowded Democratic primary field at 20 percent.

Senator Kamala Harris slotted in at a distant fourth with 8 percent, her numbers remaining unchanged from the June poll.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who was once among the top contenders, continued to slide and tied for fifth place with Senator Cory Booker at 4 percent.

The statistical between the top three hopefuls means that Democratic voters will witness a tightening three-way race in the days to come, unless Biden continues to make the many blunders that have overshadowed his campaign.

On Saturday, the 76-year-old made a cringeworthy blunder at a campaign rally in the state of New Hampshire, telling reporters that he enjoyed coming to the state of Vermont.

He stole the headlines several times earlier this month for making similar gaffes.

The former vice president, having forgotten that his tenure as VP came to an end when former President Barack Obama left the White House in January 2017, falsely claimed that he was still in office during the February 2018 mass shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

In yet another embarrassing blunder, Biden told his Asian and Hispanic supporters that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said the poll’s findings suggested that the race for the Democratic nomination was entering a new phase.

“The main takeaway from this poll is that the Democratic race has become volatile,” Murray said. “Liberal voters are starting to cast about for a candidate they can identify with. Moderate voters, who have been paying less attention, seem to be expressing doubts about Biden.”

The poll found that Biden had lost support among moderate and conservative Democrats, with support among those groups falling to 22 percent, almost half the amount it was in June, when he enjoyed roughly 40 percent support.

Sanders, meanwhile, saw his support among those voters jump from 10 percent to 20 percent while the figure for Warren rose from 6 percent to 16 percent over the past two months.

Overall, Sanders and Warren made the most progress in the overall support, gaining 6 and 5 points in the latest survey respectively.

In terms of favorability to win the nomination Biden once again saw his support decline from 74 percent in June to only 66 percent.

Warren, meanwhile, saw a noticeable uptick, climbing from 60 percent in May to 65 percent in August.

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