Sen. Elizabeth Warren has inched in front of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.
Ms. Warren of Massachusetts was the top choice of 27% of Democratic voters and independents who lean Democrat, followed by Mr. Biden at 25%.
The 2-point gap is within the survey's margin of error, but the Wednesday poll marked the first time any Democratic presidential candidate other than Mr. Biden was in front since Quinnipiac started asking the question in March.
"After trailing Biden by double digits since March in the race for the Democratic nomination, Warren catches Biden," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy. "We now have a race with two candidates at the top of the field, and they're leaving the rest of the pack behind."
Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont was next at 16%, followed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, at 7% and Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California at 3%.
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former housing secretary Julián Castro and entrepreneur Andrew Yang were all at 2%.
Seven in 10 Democrats and leaners said they would be excited if Ms. Warren was the nominee, compared to 56% for Mr. Biden and 55% for Mr. Sanders.
Fifty percent also said they want to see the party's nominee support policies that would result in big changes but be more difficult to pass, compared to 42% who preferred that the nominee back policies with more minor changes that would be easier to pass.
And 49% said the best way to handle health care is to implement a "Medicare for All" system championed by Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, compared to 44% who said the best way is to keep private insurance in place and build on Obamacare, as Mr. Biden has advocated.
"Dig a little deeper, and the reasons behind Warren's rise become more clear. She generates a lot of excitement as a potential nominee," Mr. Malloy said. "On top of that, half of Democrats want a presidential candidate that supports big changes — even if it means things are harder along the way."
As for President Trump, 40% of registered voters overall say they approve of how he's handling his job, compared to 55% who said they disapprove.
But only 37% say he should be impeached and removed from office, compared to 57% who said he should not be impeached.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House would formally open an inquiry that could lead to impeachment. Still, it's unclear how much has changed, other than that the committees already investigating the president will now be able to do so under the "umbrella" of an impeachment inquiry.
The survey of 1,337 registered voters nationwide was taken from Sept. 19-23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
The survey includes 561 Democratic voters and independents who lean Democrat, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points for that group.