Support for Biden Steady After Comments About Segregationist Senators

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s comments about working with segregationist senators don’t appear to have dented him, according to new polling showing he remains the overwhelming front-runner ahead of this week’s first Democratic presidential primary debates.

Mr. Biden was the choice of 38% of Democratic primary voters — the same level of support as last week and 19 points ahead of Sen. Bernard Sanders, his nearest competitor, according to a Morning Consult poll finalized Monday.

A separate survey Morning Consult conducted in coordination with Politico found Democrats appeared to like Mr. Biden’s joking about not being called “boy” and his ability to work with Democrats who were avowed segregationists.

Some 31% of Democrats said the incident made them more likely to support Mr. Biden, while just 17% said they were less inclined to back him. Another 40% said it wouldn’t make a difference.

Among blacks, 30% said it made them more likely to support Mr. Biden, 20% said less likely, and 27% said it made no difference.

The Morning Consult/Politico survey found, if anything, the dust-up hurt Mr. Booker.

“Could he blow this? Absolutely. But for now, it’s his nomination to lose,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell.

Mr. Biden’s base of support is coming from minority voters, particularly blacks, and older voters — demographics that hold outsize influence in Democratic primary contests — who haven’t found reason to abandon him en masse, he said.

“If you want to boil it down to two slogans, it’s very simple: it’s ‘my buddy Barack,’ and ‘a return to normalcy’ for seniors,” Mr. O’Connell said. “[Obama’s] numbers among Democrats are even better than Trump’s dogged support among Republicans … it’s absolutely mind-numbing.”

Read more from David Sherfinski at The Washington Times

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