Joe Biden became the clear frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination today as a poll suggested he would beat Donald Trump in a race for the White House.
The 76-year-old, who served as Barack Obama’s vice president, was set to launch his third run at the top job today, shaking up a crowded field of Democrats vying to take on Mr Trump, 72, in next year’s election.
He was boosted by a Morning Consult/Politico poll showed him leading by 42 per cent to 34 per cent in a head-to-head with the president. Mr Biden has an edge over Mr Trump among women (17 points), millennials (22 points) and independents (10 points).
The national survey, conducted online, also shows Mr Biden has the support of 30 per cent of Democratic Party voters, with Senator Bernie Sanders in second place on 24 per cent.
Mr Biden’s nascent campaign hit problems last month when he was accused by several women of making them feel uncomfortable because of his public displays of affection, including hugs and kisses, earning him the nickname “Creepy Joe”.
However, the poll of 1,992 registered voters, conducted between April 19 and Sunday, shows that 48 per cent of those questioned have a favourable impression of the former Delaware senator.
Some Democrats are pushing for a younger, more liberal candidate to take on Mr Trump. But Mr Biden, discussing his prospects last month, said: “Show me the really Left, Left, Left-wingers who beat a Republican.”
He ran unsuccessfully for the presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008, and decided not to run in 2016 because of the death of his son Beau from brain cancer the previous year. If Mr Biden won next year’s election, he would be America’s oldest ever president, at 78.