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Biden, Warren lead Democratic presidential primary race in Mass., poll finds

Joe Biden (left) and Elizabeth Warren.Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

A new Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of likely Massachusetts primary voters found a surging Senator Elizabeth Warren closing in on former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead as the number of undecided voters shrinks.

The poll, released Saturday, found Biden leading the field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates with 26 percent support, followed by Warren with 24 percent, within the margin of error. Senator Bernie Sanders was in third place with 8 percent, while South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg came in fourth with 5 percent. No other Democratic candidate registered more than three percent in the poll.

Saturday’s results represent a 14-point gain for Warren since a June Suffolk/Globe poll found her with the backing of 10 percent of likely voters.


And although the 2020 Democratic presidential primary is still months away, Massachusetts Democrats are beginning to make up their minds, with 25 percent of respondents saying they are undecided, down from 42 percent in June.

“I see this as really positive for Warren,” Suffolk University Political Research Center director David Paleologos said, adding that the Cambridge Democrat’s polling has also improved in New Hampshire, Iowa, and nationally. “The fact that she’s cleared the field to make this a one-on-one race, even in her home state, is important.”

Still, Biden remains well in the lead with older voters. Forty percent of respondents 65 and older back him, the survey found.

“That’s his lane and his alone. But you’ve got a closing of that in this poll,” Paleologos said. “She’s kind of shaken off Sanders to become the progressive candidate in Massachusetts.”

The poll comes as virtually the entire Democratic field flocks to New Hampshire this weekend to speak at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention in Manchester, with some candidates, including former congressman Beto O’Rourke and Senator Kamala Harris, making stops in Massachusetts.


Ten Democrats, including Warren, Biden, and Sanders, are expected to take the stage for the next presidential primary debate on Thursday. It will be the first time Warren and Biden appear on the same stage after debate rules winnowed the field enough to allow all remaining candidates to appear on one night.

Massachusetts voters will go to the polls in the Democratic presidential primary contest in March. The poll released Saturday used live callers to survey 500 likely voters in the September 2020 Democratic primary, and was conducted Sept. 3 to Sept. 5. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

The June poll included 370 likely Democratic primary voters and had a margin of error of 5.1 percentage points.

Matt Stout of the Globe staff contributed. Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.