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Battleground Tracker: Should Joe Biden run for president?

By Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto, Sarah Dutton and Fred Backus

Should Joe Biden Run for president? As the sitting vice president mulls his options, results are mixed among Democratic primary voters in the three earliest primary contests.

In South Carolina, more Democratic primary voters think he should run than should not by a margin of nearly two to one.

Results are divided in Iowa, with 34 percent saying that Biden should run, and another 34 percent saying he should not.

Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire are more likely to say no to the idea of a Biden candidacy.

Should Joe Biden run for president?

(Among Democratic Primary/Caucus Voters)

New Hampshire South Carolina
Should 34%31%48%
Should not 34%44%25%

Clinton voters in Iowa and New Hampshire are more likely to think Biden should stay out of the race, while Clinton voters in South Carolina think he should enter the fray. Sanders voters in all three states are more likely to say Biden should stay out of the race.

Despite not having declared his candidacy, Biden has some support among Democratic primary voters in all three states, but particularly in South Carolina, where he runs nearly even with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in a contest for second place.

But Biden does worse in Iowa and New Hampshire, where Sanders holds a double digit lead over Clinton. In both of these states, Biden runs a distant third. In all three states, Biden polls far ahead of Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee.

Democratic Primary Race

Iowa New Hampshire South Carolina
Bernie Sanders 43%52%23%
Hillary Clinton 33%30%46%
Joe Biden 10%9%22%
Martin O'Malley 5%1%0%
Lincoln Chafee1%0%0%
Jim Webb1%0%1%

The vice president may be in a stronger position if either Clinton or Sanders start to falter. Biden is the top second choice in all three states.

Democratic Primary Race - 2nd Choice

Iowa New Hampshire South Carolina
Joe Biden26%32%41%
Hillary Clinton19%23%27%
Bernie Sanders19%12%11%
Martin O'Malley 13%7%3%
Jim Webb4%*3%
Lincoln Chafee***

*Less than 1%

Clinton voters are split in their second choice between Biden and Sanders in Iowa, but they prefer Biden to Sanders in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Sanders voters lean towards Clinton as their second choice in all three states.

Margins of Error/state: Iowa, ± 6.6%, NH ± 7.4%, SC ± 6.8%

The CBS News 2016 Battleground Tracker is based on interviews conducted on the internet between September 3 and 10 with 4,860 registered voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. The poll was conducted by YouGov, an online polling organization. The "margin of error" is an approximate 95 percent confidence interval for the sampling proportion.

Respondents were selected for participation from available panel members to be representative of registered voters from each state in terms of age, race, and gender. A propensity score (based upon a case-control logistic regression including age, race, gender, education, born-again status, and party registration) was estimated for each respondent and responding panelists were post-stratified upon propensity score deciles. A score for likelihood of voting was computed for each respondent based upon past turnout and self-reported likelihood of voting in the presidential primary.

Respondents were selected from YouGov's and two other online panels and YouGov also randomly selected persons from voter registration lists who had previously voted in primary elections and contacted them by phone. A total of 19,047 registered voters were contacted by phone and the YouGov sample includes 1,163 phone recruits.

Toplines and tabs can be found here.

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