Polls Inject New Life into the Bernie Sanders Campaign

Bernie Sanders
Getty Images/ Alex Wong

A Morning Consult poll released Monday spells good news for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has been knocked off his second-place pedestal by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)  in a series of polls in recent weeks.

All eyes have been on Warren, who has experienced a surge over the last few weeks, even statistically tying with longtime frontrunner Joe Biden (D) for first place nationally in last week’s Economist/YouGov poll. All the while, the Sanders campaign has maintained the media are not giving him a fair shake and that his campaign is doing much better than many perceive.

While the rhetoric did not seem to match the available data, recent polls suggest that Sanders is, indeed, gaining ground back.

A Morning Consult poll – stemming from interviews with 17,115 Democrat-leaning registered voters August 12–18 –  shows Sanders reclaiming his previously held second place position with 20 percent support. While he is still 11 points behind Biden, who has 31 percent support, the Vermont senator is still five points ahead of his closest challenger Warren, who garnered 15 percent support.

The survey affirms the storyline of Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D-CA) freefall from the first tier, garnering nine percent support. She is followed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) who has five percent support, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Beto O’Rourke (D), and Andrew Yang (D), who all received three percent support. The remaining candidates garnered one percent support or less. The margin of error is +/- one percent.

While results among early primary state voters, specifically, did not change the order of the top three candidates, Sanders’ lead on Warren widened, showing the Massachusetts senator dropping two points, to 13 percent.

Overall, Morning Consult’s tracking data shows Sanders’ decline leveling out and Warren’s slow trajectory upward.

Notably, the biggest percentage – 25 percent – of Biden supporters chose Sanders as their second choice candidate, 31 percent of Sanders supporters chose Biden, and 23 percent of Warren’s supporters chose Harris. It further affirms the lack of overlap between Warren and Sanders supporters, despite their ideological similarities.

Another national poll told a similar story: Sanders is not done yet:

Sanders is also seeing a surge in the early primary state New Hampshire, which currently poses as the best shot for Sanders to secure an early primary state victory, as Biden has a stronghold on South Carolina and Warren is surging in Iowa:

Nonetheless, a Pew Research survey released Friday suggested that a quarter of Democrat voters have not yet chosen a candidate, leaving room for significant changes in both the early primary state and national polls in the coming months, particularly as the Democrat field narrows.

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