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Biden climbs in new national poll

The vice president has ridden a wave of sympathy all summer and seen his numbers tick up as he considers a 2016 presidential run.

More rough news for Hillary Clinton in a new poll that finds her national lead in the Democratic presidential primary has shrunk as interest in Vice President Joe Biden’s potential presidential candidacy has grown.

A new Monmouth University poll finds Clinton has support of 42% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning votes nationwide, down 10 points from 52% a month ago. At the same time, Biden has climbed 10 points to 22%. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is essentially tied for second at 20%.

And narrow majorities of both Clinton and Sanders voters say they would be at least open to switching to Biden if he got in the race.

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“For a guy who is not running for president, Biden sure is making headway against the front-runner,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. “There also seems to be an opening with the more liberal Sanders voters if Biden plays his cards right.”

Biden has been riding a wave of sympathy and positive press since the death of his son early this summer, and the poll shows his personal ratings have ticked up a bit. Clinton remains as popular as Biden, but her unfavorability numbers are slightly higher than Biden’s. Meanwhile, Sanders remains unknown to 45% of Democratic voters.

The state of the rest of the field, including former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, remains unchanged.

The poll continues to show, however, that even though her position has weakened, Clinton remains the dominant front-runner in the race.