Former Vice President Joe Biden is no closer to notching a primary win than he was late last week according to a CNN poll released Sunday, showing Biden battling for fourth place with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who was barely a threat to the Veep (or anyone in the top tier of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls) just a week ago.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “maintained his lead over his opponents for the Democratic presidential nomination in New Hampshire, according to a poll released days before the first-in-the-nation primary,” per The Hill.
Sanders, the CNN/University of New Hampshire poll says, is actually pulling away from the field, moving up 3 points from the same poll taken in late January, before Sanders “won” the Iowa caucus (the results are yet to be certified, of course, but Sanders is now narrowly leading former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, though the Vermont socialist is still behind in the delegate count). Buttigieg is in second, 7 points behind Sanders.
Warren and Biden are swapping third and fourth place. CNN has them at 9 and 11 percent, respectively, but a Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll released late Friday has Biden well behind Sanders, battling Klobuchar — not Warren — for fourth place, and Warren well positioned for third.
A third of New Hampshire voters remain undecided, but that number is steadily declining — and those “undecideds” seem to be declaring their support for Klobuchar, according to CBS Boston.
“Amy Klobuchar is right behind Biden now at 9%, up three points over Friday night. She appears to be the only candidate to get a boost from Friday’s debate, with two-thirds of the poll taken during and after that event,” the outlet reported Saturday. Klobuchar has had a six point bounce in New Hampshire since last Wednesday, when early polling results from the Iowa caucus showed her doing much better than expected.
“Sanders looks well-positioned if he can bring out his youth vote. Buttigieg looks comfortable in second place at least,” one polling expert told CBS Boston. “But to me the real excitement is who’s gonna get that third ticket among Warren, Biden and now a streaking Klobuchar.”
Sanders, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar have little to lose in Tuesday’s contest. Sanders has been expected to win New Hampshire since November, and he’s likely hopeful the two successive victories will help convince fence-sitting Democrats that Sanders has a chance against President Donald Trump in November, despite what battleground state polls say. Buttigieg is coming off a hard-fought win in Iowa — one that took months of preparation and millions in campaign cash. A win in New Hampshire could show he’s capable of taking primaries without similar lead time.
Warren may find herself struggling to make the argument she should stay in the race after Tuesday, now that she’s poised to lose a state she led in up until mid-November. But worst off is Biden, who, if the CBS Boston numbers hold, will have two fourth-place finishes in a row — quite the disappointment for the man who was supposed to be the nominee.