Biden, Warren, Sanders lead polls ahead of next presidential debate

HOUSTON, Texas (NBC) – New polls show the Democratic presidential race remains consistent, with Joe Biden holding on to his lead. The big question now is whether Thursday’s debate will shake things up.

On tap Thursday night: a Democratic duel in the Lone Star State.

Former vice president Joe Biden—whose frontrunner status has proved durable despite intensifying scrutiny—and Senator Elizabeth Warren, the progressive fighter, steadily climbing in the polls.

The two will be sharing the stage for the first time but they’ve squared off before, sparring in 2005 with Warren, then a consumer advocate.

Biden later joked about their history after swearing in the freshman senator in 2013, saying, “You gave me hell.”

The competing candidates will be presenting dramatically different strategies for winning the White House.

Biden is trying to appeal to independents and wavering Trump voters. “Think about where we are, man,” Biden said. “It’s time for us to pick our heads up. This is the United States of America.

There’s nothing we’ve been unable to do if we set our mind to it and that’s not hyperbole, it’s real.”

Warren is looking to motivate the party’s liberal base. She said, “There is a lot at stake and people are scared but we can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in because we’re scared.”

Among those competing for attention are Bernie Sanders—whose policies largely line up with Warren’s—and Kamala Harris who’s had her own run-ins with Biden as she tries to propel herself into the top tier.

Businessman Andrew Yang is also aiming to put points of his own on the board.

So about the state of the race, here’s where things stand right now: according to a new national poll, it shows Joe Biden remaining in first place with 24%. And just behind him, Elizabeth Warren with 18%. Bernie Sanders is neck and neck with 17%.

No one else among the Democrats polls is in double digits.

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