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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading the 2020 pack while former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has surged to third, a national poll by Quinnipiac showed Monday.

By the numbers: Quinnipiac found Sanders with 25%, former Vice President Joe Biden with 17%, Bloomberg with 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 14%, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar with 4%. No other candidate polled above 2%.

Why it matters: Sanders is set to come in a narrow second in Iowa behind Buttigieg, assuming pending recanvasses don't change results. But the senator is heading into New Hampshire Tuesday with strong polling, and he is a leading contender in next week's Nevada caucuses.

  • But Bloomberg remains a looming wild card for the Democrats. He's opted to ditch campaigning in the early states, instead fighting for wins on Super Tuesday and beyond.

Between the lines: Biden is collapsing among black voters, and Bloomberg gained most of the difference.

December Quinnipiac nationwide of black primary voters:

  • Biden: 51%
  • Sanders: 13%
  • Warren: 12%
  • Bloomberg: 4%

February Quinnipiac nationwide of black primary voters:

  • Biden: 27%
  • Bloomberg: 22%
  • Sanders: 19%
  • Warren: 8%

Buttigieg has struggled to poll with minority voters. While he did well in primarily white Iowa, his struggles among the group could become apparent in upcoming, more diverse states.

Go deeper: New Hampshire polls show Sanders, Buttigieg on top in final stretch

Go deeper

German elections: After close result, jockeying to replace Merkel begins

Data: Preliminary results from German Federal Returning Officer; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) pulled off a come-from-behind victory in Sunday’s elections, 10 seats ahead of the Christian Democrats (CDU), which failed to finish top for the first time in 16 years.

State of play: SPD leader Olaf Scholz has said he’ll seek to form a government, but so too has Armin Laschet, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as CDU leader.

2 hours ago - Health

Biden gets COVID-19 booster shot on live television

President Biden received a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine booster shot on live television on Monday, while also urging Americans to get vaccinated.

Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week recommended Pfizer booster shots for millions of people, including those 65 years and older and individuals at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

John Hinckley, who shot Reagan, wins unconditional release

John Hinckley Jr. sitting on the back seat of a car in 1981. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday approved the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate former President Reagan in 1981.

State of play: U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington ruled that Hinckley can be freed from all court supervision in 2022 if he remains mentally stable and continues to follow rules that were imposed on him after he was released from a Washington mental health facility in 2016 to live in Virginia, AP reports.

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