Poll: Biden holds 15-point lead in South Carolina

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE holds a wide lead in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary, according to a new survey from the left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling.

The poll shows Biden with 36 percent support in South Carolina, which holds its primary contest on Saturday. He’s trailed by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) at 21 percent. 

No other candidate received double-digit support in the survey. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) placed third with 8 percent support, while billionaire activist Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE tied for fourth with 8 percent each.

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The PPP poll is a welcome sign of momentum for Biden, who has struggled with worse-than-expected showing in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary and a distant second-place finish in the Nevada caucuses. 

His campaign has long cast South Carolina, however, as a firewall for the former vice president; a state where his strong support among black voters will pay off and propel him into Super Tuesday when more than a dozen states hold their primaries.

Most recent polls have shown a tightening race between Biden and Sanders in South Carolina. A CBS News/YouGov survey released on Sunday showed the former vice president’s lead narrowing to just 5 points. And a Winthrop University poll released last week also showed a 5-point race between Biden and Sanders.

In fact, Biden hasn’t led the field by double digits in polling in South Carolina since an East Carolina University poll earlier this month. That poll, however, was conducted entirely before voting in the Democratic nominating contest actually began.

The PPP poll released Monday also shows Biden holding onto his wide support among black voters, who make up roughly 60 percent of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina. The former vice president received 50 percent support among African Americans in the poll, with Sanders in a distant second place at 21 percent.

Warren and Buttigieg registered only 2 percent support among African Americans in the poll, while Klobuchar came in with 1 percent support.

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The PPP poll surveyed 866 likely South Carolina Democratic primary voters from Feb. 23-24. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

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