Recent media reports, such as a Saturday campaign roundup by Slate, have claimed to see a “surge” for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Four new polls released this week show that former Vice President Joe Biden continues to hold a double-digit lead over second-place Sanders nationally, and that the overall race remains largely stable.
Biden has led the large Democratic field since he announced his candidacy in April, according to the polling averages compiled by Real Clear Politics. With the exception of a single day, on October 7, when Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren edged past him by 0.2 of a percentage point, Biden has led throughout the campaign so far.
In fact, the RCP national polling average as of Saturday puts Biden ahead of Sanders by 10 percentage points, 29.4 to 19.4. In a Harvard-Harris poll released on Saturday, Biden leads Sanders by 13 points, 30-17. In YouGov, HarrisX, and Morning Consult polls released in the days prior to Saturday, Biden leads Sanders by 10 points, 12 points, and 11 points respectively.
Sanders has not topped 20 percent support in the Democratic race since April 28, according to the RCP polling average, leaving it unclear why many media accounts have reported a “surge” in support for the 78-year-old Senator who, though he is running in the Democratic primary, is a political independent.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar has also been the subject of media reports that she is gaining ground in the race, but according to the RCP average, she remains mired at 3.0 percent support, within fractions of a point of where she has stood throughout the campaign.
With the calendar now flipped from 2019 to 2020, the official start of primary season is only one month away, with the Iowa caucuses set to be held on February 3.
According to an average of all state polls compiled by FiveThirtyEight, Biden leads in Iowa as well, though his margin there is not nearly as convincing as his nationwide lead. The site sees Biden at 19.6 percent support in Iowa.
That puts the former vice president just 0.6 of a percentage point ahead of former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and 1.5 points in front of Sanders in Iowa, according to the FiveThirtyEight polling average.
The outlook for Sanders appears somewhat better in New Hampshire, where the FiveThirtyEight average puts him in the lead — but by only 0.1 of a point, at 18.3 percent support in the Granite State to 18.2 for Biden. The New Hampshire primary is set to take place eight days after the Iowa caucuses.