On Thursday, the University of Mary Washington released poll results indicating four top Democratic presidential hopefuls lead President Trump among Virginia voters.

A day later, UMW sent out poll results on which candidate leads the crowded Democratic field with state voters.

Joe Biden got the nod over the 10 other Democratic candidates who took part in the most recent debate, with the poll showing that the former vice president “holds a substantial lead over his rivals” in Virginia.

Biden was favored by 23 percent of the more than 1,000 registered voters statewide who were interviewed by telephone from Sept. 3–15 for UMW by Research America Inc.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders each garnered 9 percent in the poll. California Sen. Kamala Harris was favored by 5 percent of those polled, and 4 percent chose South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of its Center for Leadership and Media Studies, said in a UMW release that the survey “demonstrates that the national favorites are also ahead in Virginia.”

“Some candidates who have made a point of spending a lot of time in Virginia, like Beto O’Rourke, are still struggling to make their way into the top tier,” he added.

The survey also asked participants who their second choice would be.

Warren led the way with 11 percent. Biden followed with 10 percent, then Harris (7 percent) and Sanders and Buttigieg (5 percent).

Male voters preferred Biden, who was chosen by 24 percent of that group, followed by 10 percent for Sanders and 9 percent for Warren.

Women also leaned toward Biden, with 22 percent preferring him. Warren followed with 10 percent, and 7 percent chose Sanders.

Biden also was the favorite with both white and black voters. Among white voters, 19 percent chose Biden, followed by 11 percent for Warren and 7 percent for Sanders.

Biden had an even wider lead among black voters at 39 percent. He was followed by Sanders with 12 percent and Harris with 11 percent.

Farnsworth noted that while the same top-ranking candidates also dominated the second-tier choices, the other candidates can still hold out hope in Virginia.

“The good news for the candidates who are further back in the field is that there are still a lot of undecided primary voters here in Virginia,” Farnsworth said.

The Democratic presidential primary in Virginia is March 3.

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Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

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