Bernie Sanders Opens A Double-Digit Lead In National Polling

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File

Duane Townsend

The Hill - February 13, 2020

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has opened up a double-digit lead over his next closest rivals in a new national survey.

The latest Morning Consult poll finds Sanders at 29 percent support, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 19 percent and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 18 percent. Sanders gained 3 points in the poll after winning the New Hampshire primary this week, while Biden lost 3 points after a disastrous fifth-place showing.

The latest poll confirms Sanders’s status as the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination. In addition to winning New Hampshire, Sanders pulled more votes than anyone else at the Iowa caucuses, although it appears that former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg will narrowly win the delegates edge in the Hawkeye State.

Buttigieg finished a close second in New Hampshire and held steady in the Morning Consult survey at 11 percent support. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who finished a distant fourth place in New Hampshire, came in at 10 percent in the new poll.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), whose surprise third-place finish in New Hampshire launched her into the thick of the race, is at 5 percent support, picking up 2 points from the prior survey.

Electability is the top issue on voters' minds and Sanders is now viewed as the best positioned to defeat President Trump, with 29 percent saying he’s most electable, followed by Bloomberg at 25.

Biden’s electability case has taken a severe hit after fourth- and fifth-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, dropping from 29 percent earlier this month to 17 percent in the latest poll.

Biden is hoping that the black voters who have been the backbone of his support stick with him as the contests turn to the more diverse states of Nevada and South Carolina.

But the Morning Consult survey found a 10-point drop among black voters in their confidence that Biden has the best shot of defeating Trump. Thirty-two percent of black voters said Sanders has the best chance of defeating Trump, followed by Biden and Bloomberg at 21.

Forty-six percent of Democratic primary voters said Biden’s showing in New Hampshire makes it less likely they’ll vote for him.

The Morning Consult poll of 2,639 registered Democrats was conducted on Feb. 12 and has a 2-point margin of error.

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