Bernie Sanders Tops NBC/WSJ National Poll for First Time

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leaves a roundtable discussion early at the U.S. Capitol with actor Mark Ruffalo and Dr. Anna Reade, Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Scientist, on strategies to combat the widespread contamination of America's drinking water so he can return …
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White House candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has taken a slight lead over former Vice President and presumed frontrunner Joe Biden for the first time, according to a newly-released nationwide poll.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey states Sanders is now in first place with 27 percent support among Democrat primary voters, and Biden has dropped to second place at 26 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), whose poll numbers have steadily declined in recent months, placed third with 15 percent, six more points ahead of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who garnered nine percent. In fifth place came former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg with seven percent approval, while Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) placed sixth at five percent. Technology entrepreneur Andrew Yang stands at four percent, placing him in the seventh slot. All other candidates, including billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, notched no more than three percent support, the poll found.

While Sanders’ first-place finish marks an important shift, the poll’s plus or minus 4.74 percentage point margin of error underscores how slim his single-digit lead is over Biden.

In addition to Friday’s national poll results, Sanders also appears to be leading in Iowa and New Hampshire — two key presidential primary states.

An NBC10 Boston/Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll shows Sanders has garnered 29 percent support in New Hampshire, while Biden is in second at 22 percent. In the same poll, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) placed third with 16 percent. In the Hawkeye State, an Emerson College poll found Sanders leads Biden — 30 to 21 percent — among registered Democrats and leftwing independent voters. The Iowa caucuses will be held on February 3, roughly one week before New Hampshire heads to the polls.

A recently-released poll also shows Sanders has pulled away Warren as he continues to lead California’s Democrat primary race. In a statewide survey by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies for the Los Angeles Times, the Vermont senator garnered 26 percent of support among likely voters in the state’s primary election that is scheduled for March 3. Warren placed second with 20 percent support — a two-percent dip from 22 percent in November, and a nine-percent drop from 29 percent in September.

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