Joe Biden storms to double digit lead over Bernie Sanders in new poll

Candidates clear field for man-to-man battle

Andrew Naughtie
Friday 06 March 2020 10:14
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Sanders attacks Biden as gloves come off in 2020 race

As the last two Democrats left standing head for their next clutch of primaries, there are signs Joe Biden is pulling well ahead of Bernie Sanders.

With just days to go until several big states cast their vote, a new Reuters-Ipsos poll shows Mr Biden opening up a national lead of 10 points over Mr Sanders, besting him among both Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.

When the Reuters-Ipsos poll asked respondents whom they thought was most electable, Mr Biden’s lead widened even further.

The poll tallies with an overall recovery for Mr Biden, who was initially written off as dead-in-the-water after performing poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire. He revived his candidacy by winning nearly half the vote in the South Carolina primary and then streaking ahead of Mr Sanders on Super Tuesday.

Mr Sanders, meanwhile, has enjoyed a national lead across different polls for several weeks, but underperformed in both South Carolina and several Super Tuesday states, although he won decisively in the delegate-rich state of California.

The question of “electability” has become especially loaded since Elizabeth Warren ended her campaign.

Much of the analysis of why she failed has focused on the double standard applied to female candidates, with voters less likely to view them as electable as a matter of course, and therefore less likely to lend them their vote.

No national polls have been conducted since Ms Warren dropped out of the race. In the same Reuters-Ipsos poll she scored 10% nationally, raising the question of which man her supporters will gravitate towards.

The shape of the contest between the two men may be altered by a clutch of primaries set for 10 March, among which is Michigan. The state is both rich in delegates and of great symbolic value, being one of the three “rust belt” states where Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016.

 

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