Poll: Biden leads Democratic field nationally after Sanders takes top spot in Iowa poll

Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead the field of Democratic presidential contenders, but there are signs that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is gaining ground nationally, according to a survey from Quinnipiac University Poll released on Monday.

The poll shows Biden with the support of 25 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents from across the nation who were surveyed. Sanders takes the No. 2 spot, with the support of 19 percent.

While Biden still holds the lead, his support dropped by 5 points since Quinnipiac’s last national poll was released in December. Sanders, meanwhile, gained 3 points since the last survey. 

Rounding out the top four candidates in the latest Quinnipiac poll were Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who took 16 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Their support saw little change over the past month; each candidate lost 1 point in the most recent poll.

The survey also shows former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg holding his place near the middle of the presidential pack. He registered 6 percent support in the poll, outperforming candidates like Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former tech executive Andrew Yang, who have been running for the Democratic nomination for much longer.

Still, there’s evidence that the Democratic field remains fluid. Only 35 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning respondents said they had made up their mind on who they will support in the primary contest. Another 63 percent said they could still change their minds.

Warren and Sanders are the most frequently named second-choice candidates. Nineteen percent of respondents said they would vote for Warren if they could not for their first choice, while 18 percent said Sanders was their No. 2 pick. Biden was the second choice of about 13 percent of those surveyed.

The Quinnipiac national poll came days after a Des Moines Register-CNN survey of likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa showed Sanders leading the pack in the Hawkeye State. A Monmouth University Poll survey of Iowa Democrats released on Monday showed Biden leading in the state, followed by Sanders, Buttigieg and Warren.

How the Iowa caucuses shake out — as well as the other early nominating contests in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — could reshape the Democratic primary field at the national level, especially if voters start lining up behind those candidates who see success in the early states.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 651 Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent voters from Jan. 8-12. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

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