Feb 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Polls: Sanders in control over Biden, Bloomberg

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

Primary elections test impact of protests, coronavirus on voting

Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Iowa Rep. Steve King defeated in GOP primary

Rep. Steve King. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

State Sen. Randy Feenstra defeated incumbent Rep. Steve King in Tuesday's Republican primary for Iowa's 4th congressional district, according to the Cook Political Report.

Why it matters: King's history of racist remarks has made him one of the most controversial politicians in the country and a pariah within the Republican Party.

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day — prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Protesters were still out en masse even as curfews set in in New York City and Washington, D.C. Large crowds kneeled at Arizona's state capitol nearly an hour before the statewide 8 p.m. curfew, and a peaceful march dispersed in Chicago ahead of the city's 9 p.m. curfew.