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Warren, Biden top new 2020 Democratic presidential polls

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Progressive Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren tops the field for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in a new poll, though other voter surveys have former vice-president Joe Biden in the lead.

[WASHINGTON] Progressive Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren tops the field for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in a new poll, though other voter surveys have former vice-president Joe Biden in the lead.

The fresh surveys landed as one of the race's low-polling candidates, congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio, announced Thursday he was dropping out of the race.

While second- and third-tier candidates flounder, Ms Warren and Mr Biden have battled for primacy.

The 70-year-old Warren was backed by 28 per cent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent voters in a poll published on Thursday by Quinnipiac University.

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The more centrist 76-year-old Biden, who has led most polling since joining the White House race, received 21 per cent.

Liberal Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who recently suffered a heart attack, was at 15 per cent in the Quinnipiac survey while Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was at 10 per cent, his strongest showing yet in major national polling.

California Senator Kamala Harris received five per cent while Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was at three per cent.

While Ms Warren topped the Quinnipiac poll, Mr Biden came out well ahead in a CNN survey published Wednesday and conducted by independent research company SSRS.

Mr Biden was the choice of 34 per cent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters in the CNN poll, which recorded his largest lead in the race since April, just after his campaign's formal launch.

Nineteen per cent opted for Ms Warren and 16 per cent for Mr Sanders, while Mr Buttigieg and Ms Harris each received six per cent and Ms Klobuchar was at three per cent.

Mr Ryan for his part, barely registered in the recent surveys.

"I wanted to give voice to the forgotten communities that have been left behind by globalisation and automation, and I'm proud of this campaign because I believe we've done that," the Ohio Democrat said in a video announcing his withdrawal.

With such intense competition in the race to see who challenges President Donald Trump in 2020, Mr Ryan's campaign never caught fire.

Other lower-tier candidates like former cabinet member Julian Castro and Senator Michael Bennet are similarly struggling in the race that still features 18 White House hopefuls.

Ms Warren has vied with Mr Sanders for the progressive vote with bold ideas on health care and education, while Mr Biden has campaigned as an experienced moderate who has the best chance of defeating Mr Trump.

Mr Biden has been the frontrunner in the crowded Democratic field longer, but Ms Warren has been surging lately and drawing large crowds to her rallies.

Mr Biden has also been caught up in the political turmoil surrounding Mr Trump, accused of pressing Ukraine for damaging information on the former vice-president and his son Hunter Biden.

House Democrats have opened an impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump for abuse of power.

While Mr Trump has repeatedly hammered the Bidens as corrupt in a bid to taint his possible 2020 election adversary, Mr Biden's resilience in the polls could give him fresh confidence heading into next month's Democratic debate.

Eight candidates have qualified so far for the November 20 showdown, the cycle's sixth debate.

AFP