Senators Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) are now registering higher approval among voters than former Vice President Joe Biden, according to the latest Monmouth University poll.

This is, according to the poll, the first time Sanders or Warren have overtaken Biden in the 2020 cycle in Monmouth polling. The poll results are especially significant, given that Monmouth has received an A+ rating from polling site FiveThirtyEight, having correctly predicted 80% of presidential contests.

Technically, Sanders is in a statistical tie with Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), as both Sanders and Warren are polling at 20% apiece, and Biden is at 19%, with a 5.7% margin of error. However, previous months’ polls had Biden far out in front, with a double-digit lead over both Sanders and Warren in June and May, and a comfortable lead in April, March, and January polls.

Monmouth University Polling Institute’s August national poll results

As the above table shows, Sanders and Warren seem to be pulling ahead of their competition aside from Biden, with Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) in a distant fourth place. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg are both tied for fifth place, with 4% apiece. Harris’ 8% shows a three-point drop compared to May 2019 (11%), and Buttigieg has dropped in poll approval for the third consecutive time, going from 8% in April, to 6% in May, 5% in June, and 4% in August. This drop comes in spite of Buttigieg outperforming all other candidates in total second-quarter fundraising.

The reason for Biden’s sudden fall from grace may be due to the abundance of embarrassing public performances from the former vice president. As Grit Post’s Katelyn Kivel has previously argued, Biden may be experiencing a form of dementia known as “sundowning,” in which a person has a propensity to show a higher level of confusion and disorientation during later hours of the day.

Following his July debate appearance, Biden directed voters to “Joe 30330” as if it was a website, rather than the text message code for his campaign. He incorrectly stated that the survivors of the Parkland mass shooting visited him in the White House when he was vice president, even though the shooting took place more than a year after he left office. Biden also seemingly equated poverty with blackness, and recently thanked a supporter at an Iowa rally, calling her his “longfriend timefriend.” He recently assured his supporters that despite these statements, he wasn’t “going nuts.”

After he announced he was dropping out of the presidential race, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-Massachusetts) stated that he viewed the 2020 contest for the Democratic nomination as “a three-way race between Biden, Warren, and Sanders.” The latest Monmouth poll certainly seems to back up that assertion.

(Featured image: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons, Jay Godwin/Creative Commons)


Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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