For the first time in the 2020 Democratic primary, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took the lead in a national Quinnipiac University poll, overtaking former Vice President Joe Biden, just after the Iowa caucuses and one day ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
Sanders received 25% support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, with Biden at 17%. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg saw a surge in support with 15%, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 14%, former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg at 10% and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar at 4%.
The results represent a major shift in Quinnipiac polling: A Jan. 28 survey had Biden in the lead at 26%, followed by Sanders at 21%, Warren at 15%, Bloomberg at 8%, Klobuchar at 7% and Buttigieg at 6%. That poll represents results from before the Iowa caucuses, where Buttigieg and Sanders are closely in the lead pending a possible recanvassing.
The Associated Press said it won’t declare a winner because the results are so close and may still be revised. The Iowa Democratic Party updated its results Monday, with new projections potentially putting Buttigieg ahead with 14 national delegates to Sanders’ 12. Warren holds eight delegates and Biden has 6, according to current data from AP.
“Clearly Biden’s fourth place finish in Iowa has hurt the perception of what was his biggest strength — electability,” Quinnipiac University poll analyst Tim Malloy said.
Who is best for beating Trump?
While Biden once held a clear lead in Democratic voters’ perception of electability against President Donald Trump, he is now only a few points ahead of Sanders. Twenty-seven percent say Biden has the best chance of beating Trump, 24% think Sanders has the best chance, 17% Bloomberg and 9% Buttigieg. In January’s poll, 44% thought Biden had the best shot, followed by Sanders at 19% and Bloomberg at 9%.
In head-to-head matchups between Democratic candidates and Trump, however, it’s Bloomberg who held the widest lead among all registered voters of all party affiliations.
In those matchups, candidates defeated Trump with the following results:
- Bloomberg at 51-42%
- Sanders at 51-43%
- Biden at 50-43%
- Klobuchar at 49-43%
- Warren at 48-44%
- Buttigieg 47-43%
‘Stakes are incredibly high’:New Hampshire voters feel the pressure as primary looms
Biden has acknowledged he faces a tough race in New Hampshire, but maintains his campaign still has a good shot for the nomination. He told reporters on Monday, apparently before he had seen the just released Quinnipiac poll, that he’s still ahead in national polls.
“I don’t have to do anything differently to stay in this race,” he said. “This is just getting started. If you notice, I’m still leading in all the national polls.”
The Quinnipiac survey released Monday was conducted Feb. 5-9 among 1,519 registered voters with a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points. For Democratic and Democratic-leaning questions, the poll included 665 respondents and the margin of error was 3.8 percentage points.
Contributing: Joey Garrison