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Joe Biden. Photo: Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden has maintained a double-digit lead against his 2020 Democratic competitors, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) coming in 2nd place — even in some states Sanders managed to secure during the 2016 Democratic primaries.

The big picture: Some observers are drawing parallels between Biden's current campaign and Hillary Clinton's 2016 run, including courting the same donors and addressing the economic woes of middle class Americans, reports the New York Times. However, Biden is polling higher in Iowa and New Hampshire — both states Sanders won in 2016 against Clinton, per FiveThirtyEight.

By the numbers:

  • Iowa: Biden is currently polling at 35%; Sanders polling at 14%. In 2016, Sanders took Iowa with 49.8% of the votes.
  • New Hampshire: Biden is currently polling at 36% with Sanders polling at 18%. In 2016, Sanders took New Hampshire with 60.2% of the votes.
  • Nevada: Biden is currently polling at 29% with Sanders polling at 24%. In 2016, Sanders took 47.3% of the votes.
  • South Carolina: Biden is currently polling at 46% with Sanders polling at 15%. In 2016; Sanders took 26% of the votes.

National polls:

  • Quinnipiac: Biden (38), Warren (12), Sanders (11), Buttigieg (10), Harris (8), O'Rourke (5) and no other candidate gets above 2%.
  • RealClearPolitics: Biden (39), Sanders (16), Warren (8), Harris (7), Buttigieg (6), O'Rourke (4) and the other candidates are 2% or less.

Context: Many older black voters support Biden after serving as President Obama's vice president, reports the New York Times. However, Biden struggles to connect with younger voters the same way Sanders does, per the Post and Courier.

Sanders' biggest hurdle is in South Carolina where he is trying to court black voters, who he struggled to appeal to in 2016. Black voters make up 60% of the Democratic voting bloc in South Carolina. He released an education plan that focuses on reducing racial and economic segregation as part of a renewed effort to appeal to black voters.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

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