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Biden maintains a clear lead in early (very early) polling

Microsoft News logo Microsoft News 9/17/2019

Joe Biden maintained a strong lead in the Microsoft News Poll's latest Democratic presidential horse-race survey. But as noted in earlier primary polls, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

At 33 percent, Biden was 14 percentage points ahead of his nearest rival, Elizabeth Warren. She has consistently maintained second place in support among registered Democrats and independents, currently 19%. Support for next tier of candidates -- Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris -- all fell within the same range of the poll's margin of error of 4 percentage points. Candidates whose margin of error fell below zero were not included in the results.

Now, for a grain of salt

This poll does not predict an outcome. It's a national snapshot of favorability, and primaries and caucuses are state-by-state votes. This poll is based on 3,092 responses taken from Aug. 27 to Sept. 12, and the Iowa caucuses aren't until Feb. 3 -- people often change their minds before voting, and that's months away. Still, the results of the poll are useful as a rough measure of how the candidate are ranked.

The Microsoft News Poll uses online, opt-in surveys to produce statistically valid results. In this poll, responses from more than 3,092 people were collected and analyzed by polling firm CivicScience to model how demographic groups answered each question. Answers were then projected onto the true distribution of those demographic groups. The method is as accurate as traditional polling methods.

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