Sanders Surges To Top In California; Polls Show Biden Leading In Iowa, New Hampshire

Authored by Jon Queally via CommonDreams.org,

With a ten-point jump since November, Sen. Bernie Sanders has surged to the lead in a California tracking poll less than two months before the state's Democratic primary on Super Tuesday — March 3.

The tracking poll Public Policy Institute of California, which was last conducted in November, shows Sanders leading with support of 27 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden with 24 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 23 percent.

With a margin of error of 6.5 percent, the poll revealed a statistically tight race among the top three candidates — though fourth place was occupied by former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg who garnered just 6 percent. The most striking feature in the trends was that while support for Warren and Biden has plateaued since Sen. Kamala Harrris, who represents California, dropped out in early December, Sanders experienced a significant surge.

"Sanders appears to have gained almost all of Kamala's former supporters in California," tweeted The Hill's Krystal Ball in response.

As other polls in California and nationwide have also shown, the California survey points to a massive advantage for Sanders among the youth vote while Biden — and to a lesser extent Warren — do better with older voters.

"Among younger voters (age 18–44), Sanders (45%) has much more support than Warren (25%) and Biden (12%)," the PPIC noted, "while voters age 45 and older favor Biden (32%) over Warren (22%) and Sanders (15%)."

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And in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden has jumped ahead according to the latest polling data

Surveys of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire showed Biden atop a clustered Democratic field.

A poll by Monmouth University of likely Iowa caucus-goers showed Biden with 24 percent of the vote, 6 points ahead of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

Iowa holds its caucuses on Feb. 3. On Tuesday, six of the remaining 12 candidates in the field will debate in Des Moines, Iowa.

A poll of New Hampshire voters conducted by Franklin Pierce University showed Biden at 26% in that state – 4 points up on Sanders. New Hampshire holds it primary on Feb. 11.

While Biden has lately been seen as struggling in the two key early decider states, the new polls suggest he could cinch the nomination more quickly than expected. 

However, given we are likely to see disparate polls from now through the Iowa caucuses, anything is possible in what remains a tight Democratic primary race.