Former Vice President Joe Biden leads the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, according to the latest Fox News Poll.

Among Democratic primary voters, Biden’s 35 percent (up from 31 percent in March) leaves Bernie Sanders in a distant second place with 17 percent (down from 23 percent).

Elizabeth Warren is next at 9 percent, Pete Buttigieg receives 6 percent, followed by Kamala Harris at 5 percent, Beto O’Rourke at 4 percent, Cory Booker at 3 percent, and Julian Castro and Amy Klobuchar at 2 percent apiece.  John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Tim Ryan, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang each garner one percent.

Since March, Warren and Buttigieg gained five percentage points and Biden is up four, while Sanders dropped six points, O’Rourke four and Harris three.

About half of Democratic primary voters (49 percent) are paying “a lot” of attention to the candidates, and Biden performs even better in the ballot test among this tuned-in group:  41 percent back him, 17 percent Sanders, 10 percent Warren, and 7 percent Buttigieg.

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The highest priority of Democratic primary voters is defeating Donald Trump, as 73 percent feel that is “extremely” important.  Next, 71 percent say it’s extremely important their nominee has high ethical standards.  Roughly half want a candidate who shares their views on major issues (51 percent), has new ideas (47 percent), and has a record of accomplishments as a political leader (47 percent).  Fewer prioritize someone who is likeable (39 percent), will shake up Washington (38 percent), and represents a new generation (37 percent).

For each trait, Biden leads among those primary voters who say it is extremely important.

Biden also performs best in hypothetical 2020 matchups.  Among all registered voters, he leads Trump by 11 points (49-38 percent), up from a 7-point advantage in March.  Biden’s is the only lead outside the margin of sampling error in the matchups tested — and he is the only Democrat to push Trump’s support below 41 percent.

Sanders tops Trump by 5 points (46-41 percent) and Warren is up by two (43-41 percent), while Harris ties Trump (41-41 percent) and Buttigieg trails him by one (40-41 percent).

The president’s reelect number holds steady at 38 percent, while 54 percent would back someone else if the 2020 presidential election were today.  In December, it was 38-55 percent.

Trump’s 16-point reelect deficit is far larger than the 5-point gap former President Barack Obama had around this same point in the election cycle.  For Obama, it was 44 percent reelect vs. 49 percent someone else in June 2011.

Overall, 28 percent of voters would “definitely” reelect Trump, while 46 percent would “definitely” vote for someone else.

The first primary elections are about nine months away and the 2020 general election is 18 months off, yet interest in next year’s election is already remarkably high.  Nearly 6-in-10 voters, 57 percent, are extremely interested.

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That’s even higher than the 54 percent who felt that way the week before the 2016 presidential election.  In July 2015, a similar point in the electoral cycle, 31 percent were “extremely” interested.

Sixty-four percent of Clinton voters and 59 percent of Trump voters are “extremely” interested.

Conducted May 11-14, 2019 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,008 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters, and 4.5 points for Democratic primary voters (469).