Deep breaths. Deeeeeep breaths. Could Joe Biden lose his grip on the Democratic presidential nomination not to a younger and more charismatic challenger, but to an older socialist crank? A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Bernie Sanders taking a slight lead over the presumed frontrunner 27/26 with just days to go before the first caucus of the primaries:
Just days before the first votes are counted in the Democratic primary, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll finds Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden statistically tied at the top of the Democratic field.
Sanders gets 27 percent support from Democratic primary voters around the country, while Biden gets 26 percent. Sanders’ single-point advantage, while well within the poll’s +/- 4.74 percentage point margin of error, marks his first lead of the primary in the NBC/WSJ survey.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the only other Democrat registering in double digits, at 15 percent, while former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg now holds the fourth place spot, at 9 percent. Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg gets 7 percent support in the poll; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar has 5 percent, and businessman Andrew Yang stands at 4 percent. No other candidate has 3 percent support or more.
It’s the highest rating Sanders has received in this polling series. A month earlier, he trailed Biden 21/28, with Elizabeth Warren hot on his heels at 18%. In this poll, Sanders has picked up six points, Warren has lost three, and Biden slid two points — the latter two within the margin of error, but not Sanders. It’s Biden’s worst showing since July, when Sanders was only at 13% and Warren had 19%. Interestingly, though, Sanders comes in third for voters’ second choice at 15%, with Warren (24%) and Biden (20%) well ahead. The Sanders boom looks like strictly a product of ardent supporters, not necessarily less passionate voters.