A new poll shows Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont with a wide lead over the rest of the pack in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The results of a Morning Consult national pol conducted Wednesday show Sanders with 29 percent support, up four points from his standing in Morning Consult polling carried out before the New Hampshire primary, which the democratic socialist senator won.
Sanders, who had a three-point lead over former Vice President Joe Biden in the pre-New Hampshire primary polling, now is 10 points ahead of Biden, whose support went from 22 percent before New Hampshire to 19 percent after the former vice president’s fifth place finish.
With 18 percent support, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg trails Biden to hold down third place in the poll.
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was fourth at 11 percent, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 10 percent. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota had 5 percent support in the poll.
“The decline in Biden’s support comes amid faltering voter confidence over his perceived general-election strength,” wrote Morning Consult, which surveyed “2,639 registered voters nationwide who indicated they may vote in the Democratic primary or caucuses in their state,” with a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
The poll showed that Biden, who in a pre-New Hampshire survey was considered the most electable Democrat by 29 percent of respondents, now only gets that rating from 17 percent of those polled.
As Biden fell, Sanders and Bloomberg rose. The poll found that 29 percent of respondents now label Sanders the most electable Democrat, followed by Bloomberg at 25 percent.
According to the results of the poll, black voters, upon whom Biden has said he relies, are also losing faith in Biden.
Biden’s electability rating among black voters tumbled from 31 percent to 21 percent while Sanders’ rose from 23 percent to 32 percent.
Bloomberg, who went from 14 percent to 21 percent, is now considered equally electable to Biden by black voters, according to the poll.
Polls in upcoming key primary states also show Sanders gaining ground.
In a new poll of South Carolina voters by East Carolina University, Biden remains at the top with 28 percent support against 20 percent for Sanders.
However, in ECU’s previous poll conducted at the end of January, Biden had 37 percent support against 14 percent support for Sanders.
South Carolina’s primary on Feb. 29 is considered a must-win for Biden after his losses in Iowa and New Hampshire.
In Nevada, a poll by the Las Vegas Review-Journal showed Sanders leading Biden 25 percent to 18 percent. Nevada holds its caucuses on Feb. 22.
Meanwhile, a new Florida poll rated Bloomberg ahead of Biden. The former New York City mayor led all candidates with 27.3 percent support, while Biden had 25.9 percent support.
Overall, Sanders has now emerged at the top of the RealClearPolitics average of national polls for the first time in the campaign.
The polling average shows Sanders with 23.6 percent support, ahead of Biden at 19.2 percent, Bloomberg at 14.2 percent, Warren at 12.4 percent and Buttigieg at 10.6 percent.
Caitlin Jewitt, an assistant professor of political science at Virginia Tech, said voters just tuning in to the Democratic race are likely to have a dim view of Biden’s electability.
“If you are starting to pay attention to the race just now, you’re not hearing that Biden is the front-runner,” she told The Hill. “You’re hearing that Sanders is the front-runner, Buttigieg is doing better than expected and Klobuchar is doing better than expected.”
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