• Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:27 am

Bernie Sanders takes lead in new CNN poll

  • Published at 11:50 am January 23rd, 2020
Senator Bernie Sanders
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., January 20, 2020 Reuters

Sanders’s 13-point lead over Warren was the largest in a major poll since April of last year

Bernie Sanders has taken the lead of the Democratic 2020 field nationally for the first time this cycle, as both he and Joe Biden pulled away from the pack, found in a survey taken late last week. 

As of early December, the CNN poll had Biden besting Sanders by a margin of 26 to 20%, with Elizabeth Warren in third at 16%. 

Since then, Sanders jumped seven points, while both Biden and Warren ticked down to two. 

The Vermont senator’s 27 to 24 advantage over Biden was small enough to be within the poll’s margin of error. However, Sanders’s 13-point lead over Warren was the largest in a major poll since April of last year.

As a result, those headline numbers were not the best news that CNN had for the Sanders campaign on Wednesday morning, reports Intelligencer. 

In 2016, the senator’s improbably potent presidential run was done in by the Vermonter’s limited appeal among nonwhite voters. 

However, there was always reason to suspect that this had less to do with that (vast, heterogenous) demographics' antipathy for Sanders than it did with its affection for Hillary Clinton. 

According to CNN, Sanders is statistically tied with Biden now among voters of color, claiming 30% support among them to Biden’s 27.

If it is true that Sanders erased Biden’s advantage with nonwhite voters, the shape of the race fundamentally changed as there’s been a presumption that any Biden challenger would need to compensate for sizable losses in nonwhite southern primaries. 

Sanders could provide victories in Iowa and New Hampshire with a durable claim to front-runner status with all those rumors to be true. On the other hand, the fact that both CNN’s headline numbers — and its results among nonwhite voters — are significantly out of step with other polls suggesting that we may simply be looking at a flawed survey. 

Amidst several confusion from various survey portals and even if CNN’s poll is accurate, the primary became a two-way race, it is unclear exactly where the other candidates’ supporters would land. 

However, 57% of the CNN poll’s respondents said that nominating a candidate who can beat Trump is more important than nominating one who agrees with them on the issues, and 45% named Biden as the most electable candidate while 24% for Sanders. 

If all these results taken together, it suggest that Biden has room to grow his support if he can retain his aura of electability with the narrow fields.

Being said, the poll offers Sanders supporters some cause for optimism about the potential for expanding the senator’s base. While a few polls found Sanders’s attracting a slightly higher percentage of intraparty detractors than other Democratic candidates.

CNN’s survey suggests that more Democratic voters would be “enthusiastic or satisfied” with a Sanders nomination than with the nomination of any other 2020 candidate.