A new poll from Quinnipiac University finds that, across the nation, Democrats are shifting their preferred candidate for the party’s presidential nomination from former Vice President Joe Biden to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The poll found that 25 percent of Democrats (or those intending to vote in their state’s Democratic primary) back Sanders. Biden comes in at second place in the poll, 8 points lower than Biden, with 17 percent support. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is at 15 percent, while Elizabeth Warren sits at 14 percent.
To be sure, people’s minds can still be changed at this point, the Quinnipiac poll found. Thirty-nine percent of Sanders supporters said they might pick a different candidate by the time their state’s primary rolls around, while 46 percent of Biden’s backers said the same thing.
The poll is the first time Quinnipiac has recorded Sanders ahead of Biden, and the first time Sanders has been first place in the poll overall.
For the first time, Sanders leads Biden in a national Quinnipiac poll. Previous poll was conducted right before Iowa and released Jan. 28.
Sanders 25% (+4)
Biden 17% (-9)
Bloomberg 15% (+7)
Warren 14% (-1)
Buttigieg 10% (+4)
Klobuchar 4% (-3)
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) February 10, 2020
The poll is notable for another reason: it demonstrates that Democratic-leaning voters are split on who has the best chance to beat President Donald Trump come November. Twenty-four percent say Sanders has a better chance, while 27 percent say Biden has the best shot to defeat the incumbent president.
That’s a significant difference from the last Quinnipiac poll that was released, at the end of January, which found that 44 percent of Dems thought Biden had the better chance, while only 19 percent said Sanders did.
Among all voters — not just Democratic-leaners, but the general voting public — Trump appears to be at a disadvantage against both Biden and Sanders.
In a hypothetical matchup, Biden would defeat Trump by 50 percent to 43 percent, respectively. With Sanders, the margin is 51 percent favoring the Vermont senator, while 43 percent would vote to re-elect Trump.
Trump’s approval rating in the poll is at 43 percent, with 53 percent disapproving.
The New Hampshire primary is set to take place on Tuesday. In that race, it appears Sanders is the clear frontrunner, according to a Suffolk University poll, where he has the support of 27 percent of Democratic-leaning voters. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg comes in second place in that poll with 19 percent support, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is in third place with 12 percent.
Biden rounds out the top four, with 12 percent of the vote.