Elizabeth Warren Continues Surge Toward Top of 2020 Democratic Candidates, Biden Holds On to Narrow Lead: Poll

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren continues surging toward the top of the Democratic presidential candidates, but former Vice President Joe Biden still holds onto an increasingly narrow polling lead.

The latest CBS News/YouGov "battleground tracker" data finds that Warren holds a slight advantage over Biden in terms of favorability in early primary states – including Iowa, New Hampshire and several Super Tuesday contests. But Biden is clinging to a small lead over Warren in Democratic National Convention estimates, where he is still expected to clinch the nomination with 600 delegates compared to Warren's 545. Warren's increasing delegate share has been rising as supporters of lower tier candidates have been switching over to the progressive Democratic senator.

Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is still holding down the third position within the trio of top-tier candidates with the support of 286 early contest delegates.

In terms of first-choice candidate preferences, Biden holds a slight edge over Sanders in Iowa, while Warren has risen to the top of the pack in New Hampshire. In Nevada, Sanders has a slight advantage over Biden and Warren. Behind the top-tier trio, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and California Senator Kamala Harris have about one-third of the support, sitting with 8 and 7 percent respectively.

Warren, in particular, gained momentum from supporters of Harris switching over to supporting her campaign. Overall, Warren is under consideration by 60 percent of Democrats versus Biden's 50 percent. Even among candidates where Warren is not the first choice among voters, she is still being considered more than all of the other candidates.

In South Carolina, Biden has more than twice the support of any other candidate, with 43 percent of residents backing him versus 18 and 14 percent for Sanders and Warren, respectively.

Regardless of his dwindling lead over Warren and Sanders, Biden channeled President Donald Trump's braggadocio in Prole, Iowa last month, according to the Associated Press. "What I'm trying to do is go around from town to town and I'm drawing as big of crowds, or bigger than anybody. Have you seen anybody draw bigger crowds than me in this state?" the frontrunner said.

Biden continues to refer to himself as the man who can actually beat Trump in 2020. Democrat analysts and pollsters continue to reiterate that the primary characteristic Democratic voters want out of their party's 2020 presidential candidate is someone who can defeat Trump. Warren, however, has made significant gains in terms of electability measurements, rising 16 points since June from 39 percent who believe she can win to a 55 percent majority today.

"We cannot, and I will not, let this man be reelected president of the United States of America," Biden declared to the Iowa crowd last week.

According to the CBS News/YouGov poll, a majority of Democratic primary voters in the early contest states believe the party will ultimately select a nominee who will go on to defeat Trump in the general election.

msnbc, elizabeth warren, 2020, poll, biden
A baffled MSNBC panel pondered if Elizabeth Warren's 2020 campaign is already done, citing "brutal" poll numbers showing her trailing far behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Getty Images Chip Somodevilla