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Photos: Brett Carlsen/AFP via Getty Images; Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images; Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A group of top national polls released this week show Bernie Sanders in control of the 2020 Democratic race ahead of Wednesday's debate in Las Vegas.

The state of play: Joe Biden, who has been at the top of the polls for months, plunged after lackluster performances in Iowa and New Hampshire — allowing Sanders to surge ahead as billionaire Mike Bloomberg has cut into the former vice president's lead among moderate voters.

The results

Washington Post-ABC News:

  • Sanders: 32% (up 9% since January)
  • Biden: 16% (-16%)
  • Bloomberg: 14% (+6%)
  • Warren: 12% (even)
  • Buttigieg: 8% (+8%)
  • Klobuchar: 7% (+4%)

NBC News-Wall Street Journal:

  • Sanders: 27% (even since January)
  • Biden: 15% (-11%)
  • Bloomberg: 14% (+5%)
  • Warren: 14% (-1%)
  • Buttigieg: 13% (+6%)
  • Klobuchar: 7% (+2%)

NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist:

  • Sanders: 31% (up 9% since December)
  • Bloomberg: 19% (+15%)
  • Biden: 15% (-9%)
  • Elizabeth Warren: 12% (-5%)
  • Amy Klobuchar: 9% (+5%)
  • Pete Buttigieg: 8% (-5%)

What to watch: The Nevada debate marks the first time Bloomberg has qualified and will be on stage with the rest of the contenders.

  • His rivals plan to curb his rise by painting him as a Democratic version of PresidentTrump — an egomaniac New York billionaire who's stained by sexism and racial slights, and hell-bent on buying power and puppeteering mass media, write Axios' Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen.

Worth noting: Because the primary process is conducted on a state-by-state basis, national polls often have their limitations, but these results from three major pollsters crystallize the trend lines currently at play in the race.

Go deeper

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.

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