On Friday, a new poll from Las Vegas Review-Journal and AARP Nevada was released showing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the lead.
The poll, which was conducted between February 11 – 13 by WPA Intelligence and has a margin of error of +/- 4.8%, asked “413 likely caucus attendees” the following question: “If the Democratic caucuses for nomination for U.S. president were held today, for whom would you vote?”
25% of respondents said that they would vote for Sanders. In second place with 18% support was former Vice President Joe Biden. Third place went to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) with 13%. Rounding out the top six were billionaire Tom Steyer with 11%, and Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) tied with 10% each.
It should be noted that 13% of those surveyed were “undecided” or for “other” candidates.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, WPA research director Trevor Smith said that the debate on Wednesday might have some impact, but possibly nothing significant, given the timing and early voting.
The progressive block is pretty locked up, according to Smith.
“He noted that Sanders had a firm grip on voters who identified as very liberal (33 percent for Sanders) and somewhat liberal (31 percent),” reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Warren is competing for the very liberal with 32 percent of their support, but not anywhere else.”
As for Buttigieg, though he is polling at just 10%, his “support in the poll was evenly split among very liberal (14 percent), somewhat liberal (9 percent) and moderate (11 percent) voters,” showing a cross-ideology appeal.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the poll was that for 56% of respondents, stopping President Trump was priority number one, while Medicare for All was in second with just 9%.
Sanders has been able to ride a wave of Democratic voter enthusiasm despite the Iowa Caucus debacle, which initially looked like it could have sucked the oxygen from his campaign.
In Iowa, Buttigieg narrowly beat out Sanders by 0.1% (26.2% to 26.1%), and was awarded 13 delegates to Sanders’ 12 delegates, according to the Associated Press, despite Sanders appearing to win the popular vote.
Sanders went on to win the New Hampshire primary with 25.7% of the vote to second place Pete Buttigieg’s 24.4% and third place Amy Klubuchar’s 19.8%.
Prior to this latest Nevada poll (as well as one taken in January), surveys showed Joe Biden with a commanding lead dating back to August 2019. Now, according to the RealClearPolitics average, Sanders sits atop the field by a margin of 3%.
In South Carolina, where Biden needs to do well in order to continue in the Democratic race, new polls show the former vice president falling, with Sanders and Steyer rising. South Carolinians go to the polls on February 29.
Following South Carolina is Super Tuesday, where 14 states and one territory will hold their primaries and caucuses. As of publication (and the polling in many of these states isn’t fresh), Sanders leads in California, Utah, and Colorado. Biden leads in Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Oklahoma.
The results in Nevada and South Carolina will certainly have an impact on those numbers moving forward.