Joe Biden+Hillary Clinton

Vice President Joe Biden talks with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as President Barack Obama hosts a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Oval Office on Dec. 7, 2009. (Photographer: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

Bloomberg Politics

Margaret Talev and Arit John
September 23, 2015 — 3:00 AM PDT

  • As Hillary Clinton’s ratings tumble, nearly half of those surveyed say they want the vice president in the race.

One quarter of Americans who are registered Democrats or lean that way say Vice President Joe Biden is now their top choice for president. The findings of a national Bloomberg Politics poll released Wednesday represent a notable achievement for an as-yet undeclared candidate, suggest concerns about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, and raise the prospect of a competitive three-way race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton, once the prohibitive front-runner, is now the top choice of 33 percent of registered Democrats and those who lean Democrat, the poll shows. Biden places second with 25 percent and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is at 24 percent. The other three Democratic candidates combined are the top choice for less than 4 percent of that base.

Recent polls in states that will host the earliest contests of the presidential campaign, Iowa and New Hampshire, have shown Sanders closing in on and, in some cases, surpassing Clinton with Biden in a more distant third place. As Clinton’s numbers have dropped, the vice president has been openly mulling a late entry into the race. But he is delaying a decision to allow himself and his family an opportunity to grieve the death of his son Beau to brain cancer.

Read the questions and methodology here.

The latest Bloomberg survey shows the vice president at par with Sanders in terms of Democratic support nationally. Adding to the good news for the vice president: His favorability ratings are on the rise. Since the last Bloomberg poll in April, Clinton’s favorability ratings have dropped 10 points, from 48 percent to 38 percent. Biden’s 49 percent favorable score represents a 3-point uptick. He was the only one of a dozen national political figures and entities whose approval rating improved over the summer.

To read expanded article, click here.