Former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead in the 2020 Democrat presidential primary continues to shrink as the first primary debates approach.
Biden enjoyed a lead of 27 points as recently as May 9, when his share of primary voters peaked at 41 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics running average of primary polls.
That lead has since dropped to 17 points as of Thursday afternoon, as Biden now sits at 34 percent in the RCP average.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has remained in second place since Biden entered the race on April 25.
The RCP average has Sanders at 17 points, followed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is in fifth place, with 7 percent support.
Biden and Sanders are currently the only candidates averaging above single digits.
Biden, whose campaign did not return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment, has faced increasing attacks from his party’s left wing in recent weeks.
Biden was criticized this week by pro-abortion groups over his support of the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
Democrats’ 2016 platform was the first major party platform to explicitly call for repealing the Hyde Amendment.
On Wednesday, meanwhile, The Guardian published an Op-Ed from Bhaskar Sunkara, founding editor of the socialist magazine Jacobin, titled, “Want to Defeat Trump? Attack Biden.”
“A Biden victory is not preordained. He could conceivably get edged out by a candidate, like Sanders, bold enough to offer a genuinely alternative vision for America — not just shielding us from the nightmare of Trump, but providing us with aspirations for the future,” Sunkara wrote.
“Even if Sanders loses the primary, this strong anti-Biden stance might force the Democratic party to adopt more progressive positions that would actually help its chances against Trump,” he wrote.
The first Democrat presidential debates are scheduled for June 26 and 27.
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