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Civitas Poll finds Joe Biden with commanding lead among likely Democratic primary voters

Those surveyed believe he has the best chance to defeat President Trump
August 8, 2019


RALEIGH, N.C. – A special Civitas Poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden with a significant lead among likely Democratic presidential primary voters.

Those surveyed were asked, “If there were a Democratic primary for President of the United States today where you live, which Democrat would you vote for?”

36%   Joe Biden
15%   Bernie Sanders
13%   Elizabeth Warren
8%   Kamala Harris
5%   Pete Buttigieg
1%   Tulsi Gabbard
1%   Andrew Yang
1%   Cory Booker
1%   Julian Castro

All other candidates currently in the race for the Democratic nomination received less than one percent of the vote.

Quinnipiac poll fielded the same dates as the Civitas Poll found Biden with a similar lead, garnering 32 percent support from Democrats nationally. Sanders was perched at 14 percent, keeping North Carolina congruous with national sentiment. However, Elizabeth Warren polled at 21 percent among Democrats, nationwide, considerably higher than her support among North Carolina Democrats.

Respondents were then asked, “Regardless of who may be your 1stchoice to be the Democratic Party nominee in 2020, at this hour, which Democrat has the best chance of defeating Donald Trump?”

12%    Bernie Sanders
9%    Elizabeth Warren
51%    Joe Biden
5%    Kamala Harris
2%    Pete Buttigieg
4%    Other Democrat
3%    No Democrat Has a Chance
13%    Undecided

“Seven months out from North Carolina’s Presidential primary Election, it appears that Joe Biden has a commanding lead,” said Civitas Institute President Donald Bryson. “Future polling will provide more clarity, but the former Vice President is enjoying a comfortable lead among several demographics, including enormous support from African American Democrats.”

This race poll was fielded the days following the most recent Democratic Presidential primary debate that aired July 30 and 31. Likely Democratic voters were pulled from a larger sample that included Republican, Unaffiliated, and other party voters. Question topics ranged from support for reparations to opinions on Opportunity Scholarships and public perception of racism in America.

Complete poll results and cross tabs can be found here.

This poll was conducted online by SurveyUSA between 8/1/19-8/5/19. The margin of error varies based on the survey sample and question asked. For the Presidential primary questions above, 534 likely Democratic primary voters were surveyed, for a margin of error of +/- 6.1 percent.

For questions, or to arrange an interview, please contact Brooke Medina, communications director, at

Civitas has conducted live-caller voting in North Carolina since May 2005, and we are the only public policy organization offering statewide independent, nonpartisan data on a regular basis. Our polls have provided vital insights on what North Carolina voters think of the leaders and issues facing the state and nation.

Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization committed to advancing conservative ideas and shrinking the size of government. Civitas fights to eliminate government barriers to freedom so that North Carolinians can live a better life.

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