Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic race despite allegations of inappropriate behavior by seven women, according to a new poll published Monday.
Biden leads all 2020 Democratic candidates with 28 percent, according to a Hill-Harris X poll. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders trails Biden with 20 percent.
No other candidate has hit double-digits in the poll.
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is at 8 percent, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is at 7 percent, California Sen. Kamala Harris is at 6 percent, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is at 4 percent, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is at 3 percent, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is at 3 percent, and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is at 2 percent. Another 17 percent of respondents said they back other candidates.
The poll found that Biden trails Sanders slightly among young voters but leads him in every other age group. Sanders has a 21-18 advantage over Biden among voters 18 to 34 but Biden leads 27-26 among voters 35 to 49, 29-16 among voters 50 to 64, and 30-11 among voters over 65.
Poll shows tight race in Iowa:
While national polls don’t mean much in primary contests, the national poll is similar to what we’ve seen in the polls in the Iowa caucus.
An Emerson poll conducted in late March found Biden leading Sanders 25-24. That poll also found Buttigieg in third place with 11 percent, his strongest showing in any poll. The survey also showed Harris at 10 percent, Warren at 9 percent, Booker at 6 percent, O’Rourke at 5 percent, and Klobuchar at 2 percent.
Allegations dog Biden:
Seven women have accused Biden of inappropriate touching and kissing in the last month.
A former Nevada Democratic candidate accused Biden of kissing the back of her head and smelling her hair. A former congressional aide accused Biden of grabbing her head and rubbing noses with her. A woman who met Biden while she was in college said Biden hugged her “a little bit too long” and rested his hand on her thigh.
Another woman who met Biden at a fundraiser said the former vice president’s handiness made her feel “very uncomfortable.” A former White House intern said Biden pressed his forehead to hers and commented that she was a “pretty girl.” Another woman said that Biden invaded her personal space by placing his forehead against hers. Another former Democratic staffer said Biden held her by the shoulders “for a beat too long.”
Biden said in a video that he will be “more mindful” of personal space in the future.
“In my career, I’ve always tried to make a human connection — that’s my responsibility, I think,” said Biden. “I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say, ‘You can do this.’”
“Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset and I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying,” he continued.
“I’ll always believe governing — quite frankly life for that matter — is about connecting with people. That won’t change. But I will be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space,” he added.