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Joe Biden is preferred candidate among black voters by wide margin, poll finds

Presidential campaign turns to foreign policy

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the preferred choice in the Democratic presidential race among African-American Democratic voters by a wide margin, a new Washington Post/Ipsos national poll of black adults has found.

Forty-eight percent of black adults who lean Democratic listed Biden as their top choice in the Democratic primary, compared to 20% supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and 9% supporting Senator Elizabeth Warren. The other candidates polled at or under 4%, or did not register in the poll at all.

"It's hardly a surprise that Vice President Biden has such a large lead," said Clifford Young, president of Ipsos Public Affairs, in a statement. "Our polling found that more than six in 10 African Americans believe the next president should continue to build on President Obama's policies, and Biden's campaign has promised to do exactly that. He has tied himself to Obama's legacy, and it's paying off politically."

The poll bodes well for Biden in the primary in South Carolina, which has a large percentage of black voters.

Biden has struggled to reach the top spot in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to hold a caucus and a primary, which have a large majority of white voters.

The poll found that a majority of respondents who lean Democrat, 53%, believe Biden has the best chance of defeating President Trump. Fifty-seven percent said their most important consideration in choosing a candidate is whether they believe that person can defeat Mr. Trump.

Seventy-one percent of respondents said they were absolutely certain they would vote in the 2020 election, and 82% said they would definitely vote for Biden in the general election if he were the Democratic nominee. Ninety-three percent of all respondents said it was extremely important to them personally that Mr. Trump not win a second term in office.

The poll was conducted online from January 2 to the 8 among a random national sample of 1,088 non-Hispanic black adults age 18 and over. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, and the error margin is plus or minus four points among the sample of 769 Democratic-leaning registered voters.

The Washington Post/Ipsos poll was released the day after a new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll found Biden in fourth place among Iowa Democratic voters, less than a month before the Iowa caucus. That poll showed Sanders leading the race in Iowa with 20% support among likely Democratic caucus-goers, followed by Warren with 17%, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 16% and Biden at 15%.

A CBS News Battleground Tracker poll published last week found Sanders in a first-place tie with Biden and Buttigieg in Iowa. All three were at 23%, and each would get a similar number of delegates out of the caucuses if they were to take place today, according to the CBS News Battleground Tracker. Sanders also had a narrow edge in New Hampshire, with a two-point lead over Biden.

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