(AP/Molly Riley/Jae C. Hong)

Joe Biden surges: New poll shows wide open Democratic race

The veep is just 8 points behind Clinton -- and edges Bernie Sanders -- in latest Bloomberg poll

Sophia Tesfaye
September 23, 2015 5:39PM (UTC)

A new poll suggests that a quarter of Democrats are willing to back a candidate that hasn't even announced a run for the White House yet.

While this may not be exactly a tale of Dems in disarray, the results of a new Bloomberg poll suggest that beleaguered frontrunner Hillary Clinton and rising challenger Bernie Sanders aren't enough to satisfy the appetite of Democratic voters just yet, as one in four named Vice President Joe Biden as their top choice instead.


Biden, of course, is not a declared presidential candidate but has made very public suggestions as he's privately mulled his decision over the summer. Biden’s much-talked-about interview with Stephen Colbert on CBS' "Late Night," during which the vice president movingly discussed having to bury his son Beau after a battle with brain cancer, displayed an authenticity and vulnerable side to the Vice President that clearly resonated with voters. Biden enjoys an 80 percent favorability rating among Democratic voters, higher than any other candidate in the field.

Clinton still leads the Democratic field overall, with 33 percent of Democrats and independent voters leaning toward the Democratic Party supporting the former secretary of state, while Sanders sits in third place with 24 percent, slightly lower than Biden's 25 percent second place finish.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee combined to receive less than 4 percent support nationally.


And in another bit of good news for the VP, two major labor unions, the Service Employees International Union and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), are reportedly delaying their endorsement of Clinton to see if Biden will jump into the race. AFSCME endorsed Clinton early in her campaign against then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2007.

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Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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