Sanders, Biden tied among Democratic voters in new national poll

Sanders was the first choice of 27% of Democratic primary voters, neck-and-neck with Biden, who had 26%

With less than four days to go until the first votes are cast in the 2020 Democratic primary, a new national poll found Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden statistically tied among the party’s voters across the country.

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According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Friday, Sanders was the first choice of 27 percent of Democratic primary voters, neck-and-neck with Biden, who had 26 percent. Still, both numbers fall within the 4.74 percent margin of error for the poll, which interviewed 428 respondents between Jan. 26-29.

Their nearest competitor, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, lagged more than 10 percentage points behind, polling at just 15 percent. Sanders has gained support by drawing voters from fellow progressive Warren, the poll found.

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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s poured more than $250 million of his own fortune into a massive advertising blitz, now holds fourth place, at 9 percent. (In a recent interview, Bloomberg did not rule out spending up to $1 billion on the campaign).

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has 7 percent, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar gets 5 percent, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang stands at 4 percent. No other candidate received 3 percent support or more.

The results highlight a growing divide among Democratic voters along racial and generational lines. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, held a nearly 30-point advantage over Biden among primary voters under the age of 50 and led by close to 40 points among voters under the age of 35. But Biden dominated among older voters, leading Sanders by 25 points among people over the age of 50.

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“Sanders has this unique political standing with younger voters that is actually strengthening, and there’s not much sign that he’s making a dent with older primary voters,’’ Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster who conducted the survey alongside Democrat Jeff Horwitt, told The Wall Street Journal.

Biden also has a substantial base of support with black voters, with 52 percent naming him as their top choice.

But among the leading candidates, Sanders has a powerful advantage from the loyalty of his backers: 60 percent of his supporters said they will definitely vote for him, while 48 percent said the same for Biden.

Supporters of Sanders and Biden also had sharply different views of capitalism and socialism. Among Sanders voters, just 12 percent have a positive view of capitalism, while 48 percent have a negative one. But 60 percent said they view socialism positively, and just 4 percent disagree.

Among Biden voters, 40 percent view capitalism positively, with 26 percent viewing it negatively. His backers were more likely to have a negative view of socialism, however, with just 31 percent viewing it positively.

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