Peter Hasson on June 6, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead in the Democratic presidential primary continues to shrink as the first primary debate approaches.

Biden enjoyed a lead of 27 points as recently as May 9, when his share of primary voters peaked at 41%, according to RealClearPolitics’ running average of primary polls.

That lead has dropped to 17 points as of Thursday afternoon, with Biden now siting at 34% 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 175, followed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg rounds out the top five.

Biden and Sanders are currently the only candidates averaging above single digits.

Biden, whose campaign did not return a request for comment, has faced increasing attacks from his party’s left-wing in recent weeks.

Biden most recently faced a backlash from 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.

The first Democratic debates are scheduled for June 26 and 27.

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

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