Democrats overwhelmingly want a presidential nominee who can defeat President Donald Trump, but with moderates splitting that vote socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has opened up a 12-point lead for the Democrat presidential nomination in the latest national poll.
“Sanders has 31 percent support in the NPR–PBS NewsHour–Marist poll released early Tuesday, pushing him into the top spot, which had been held by former Vice President Joe Biden,” The Hill reports.
That’s a nine-point improvement since the last poll, buoyed by a strong showing in Iowa and a win in New Hampshire.
“Biden’s support, however, decreased by 9 points, to 15 percent, in the new survey. Biden’s downturn pushed him into third place, behind former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who surged into second place with 19 percent,” The Hill notes.
Bloomberg’s massive spending on national TV ads has vaulted him into contention, but a lack of planning could cost him. While Biden’s massive lead among black voters in South Carolina had him positioned for an easy win, Bloomberg is now splitting that vote with him.
But Bloomberg failed to file for a place on the ballot in South Carolina, leaving Biden free to grasp a win that could rejuvenate his campaign as they head into largely-black Democrat “Super Tuesday” primary contests in the South.
While Sanders is strong among white liberals and Hispanics, he has not polled well among black Democrats. While Bloomberg failed to file in several “Super Tuesday” states and left South Carolina for Biden to seize if he can grow his support among black voters in states where he appears on the ballot, it could hamstring Biden and clear the race for Sanders.
A major test of Sander’s support comes in Nevada. The state’s Democrat electorate is largely Hispanic. If Sanders can turn out the Hispanic vote and split the support of Nevada’s powerful labor unions, it could strengthen him further heading into Super Tuesday.