Sure, national polls aren’t as important as state-level polls this early in the primary season, but they do offer a glimpse into the minds of voters at a broader level. For months now, former vice president Joe Biden has typically remained at least ten points, usually higher, ahead of his closest rival in the Democratic primary. More recently, depending on the poll, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been challenging Sen. Bernie Sanders for the second-place spot behind Biden.

The latest release from YouGov, a polling outfit which has shown Warren’s numbers higher than some others, finds Biden and Warren in a statistical tie among registered voters in their latest national poll.

The result is brutal for Biden and sees him holding the top spot with a mere 21%, followed by Warren at 20%, Bernie Sanders at 16%, Sen. Kamala Harris at 8%, and former representative Beto O’Rourke tied at 5% with Mayor Pete Buttigieg to round out the top six.

Here’s the larger field breakdown courtesy of Political Polls on twitter, a great account to follow if you’re interested in being alerted to the latest numbers coming in from all the various polling firms:

A one-point difference in a poll like this is a statistical tie for Biden and Warren, and if the numbers are corroborated by other polling outfits, the shift in the race would be seismic and indicate some kind of coalescing of the anti-Biden vote.

If you look at the numbers from RealClearPolitics for the national polling averages, Warren has been making steady progress. The question is whether this progress is real and will start to build a floor of support for her, or whether these numbers are an August-outlier when fewer Democratic primary voters are truly paying attention to the race during this heavy vacation month.

As pointed out by, Biden was maintaining a larger lead over Warren earlier this month in the same poll:

The wide number of candidates to choose from — two dozen candidates were offered to respondents in the poll to pick — makes it difficult for a front-runner to distance themselves from the rest of the pack this early on. Yet Biden had a much larger lead on Warren in another Economist/YouGov poll earlier this month, when he had a six-point edge over her at the time.

The current polling data suggests that she might be on the minds of more voters, in terms of their second picks, than even Biden is. In a question asking respondents who they were considering while making their choices, 50 percent said Warren was one of their serious choices, while 47 percent said Biden was.

Following the second Democratic debate in late July, Warren began to see an increase in support while Kamala Harris saw her numbers get softer. At this point, it’s undeniable that Warren has been notably successful in resurrecting a rocky start to her campaign. She’s made progress toward positioning herself as the best option for voters who want a more progressive option to Joe Biden, but don’t feel Bernie Sanders could win a national campaign.

Back in June, her name started topping Bernie and she edged him out in two polls. However, back in February of this year, her campaign looked stalled and it was clear she would have to find a new path forward and start blazing a new lane for herself in the primary.

The hard work she has put in in terms of heavy media appearances, limited campaign stops, and an emphasis on legislative proposals is now paying dividends in terms of her measurably widening support. Watch for new polls over the next week or two to see if the YouGov numbers are a corollary to other polling firms.


  1. Until polls consistently include cell phone users poll results will screw towards voters ages 45+
    The overt attempt to exclude “younger” voters from the discussion will backfire, again.

  2. The question is, what will happen when lesser candidates fall to the wayside?

    Right now, it’s 21% Biden and 79% not-Biden, but as we’ve seen, such as in the Tulsi attack on Kamala, a non-Biden vote is not necessarily an anti-Biden vote.

    • With so many candidates to divide the vote, it gives a false read on who the real leaders are. As the lesser candidates fall away it will be very interesting to see where their voters go. With Biden, Warren, and Sanders fairly close together, any one of the three could easily collect enough “second choice” votes to run away with the nomination.
      I have to be honest, the whole thing scares me, we need to push Trump out, or our nation, as we know it is done. First, I respect Biden, and could support him. But, I’m afraid he has too much baggage. I don’t think Sanders, a Socialist would ever be able to win, he has his base but there are many, many like me who find socialism repugnant and would sit home or simply not vote the top of the ticket if he was the only choice. Warren would be my choice, but honestly, I think there is enough misogyny to keep her out. So, I will cross my fingers and hope we get a candidate who can give Trump a run for the ( mostly Russian, freshly laundered) money and truly make America great again by undoing all the damage Trump has done.
      If Trump manages to get a second term, are you confident that he can’t cause enough damage to our country to be able to get a third term. I always wondered how Hitler and the Nazis rose to power. Trump has been a real education.

        • Terminology is a word game. The term Social Democracy is another piece of the propaganda used to sanitize the image of this ideology. Socialism is defined as a system in which the government owns the means of production. It is also defined as an intermediate step in the transition to Communism. You would do well to get your information from someone more knowledgeable, and more honest than Bernie Sanders.
          Socialism always promises utopia and delivers totalitarianism. I challenge you to cite somewhere that has adopted a Socialist government that has not. And before you even start, despite having office holders who claimed to be Socialist, the Scandinavian countries have never been socialist, have never had anything approaching a Socialist majority. Yes, I’m afraid Bernie lied to you.
          My challenge stands, show me the place where socialism has not been a disaster. Be prepared to back up your claims, Bernie told me so won’t hold up.

          • You’re the only one rambling about socialism here, buddy. You might want to take a step back and catch your breath for a moment. Fighting windmills is hard work, and it might be easier if you take your time to respond to what I’m actually writing rather than what you assume or hope I’d be writing. Okay?

            The Scandinavian countries are traditionally social democracies wtih mixed economies, and this is the ideology Sanders proclaims as well. You’re talking to voices in your head here. You apparently are fine with social democracy, yet you paint Sanders as the devil for being a social democrat. You didn’t think this through.

            Out of curiousity, which specific Scandinavian office holders claim to be socialists? Make sure to name names, so that your claims are verifiable.

      • “Trump has been a real education.” Very true. He’s definitely made the 3 presidents before him look like amateurs.

          • Your comparing Trump to Hitler is foolish. There is no comparison.

            This Russia Russia Russia scenario, pushed by fake news CNN, fell apart after the Mueller report. Trump meets with Putin just as any president met with the Russian leader.

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