Bernie Sanders Surges To Double-Digit National Lead After New Hampshire Victory

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On the heels of his victory in New Hampshire’s Democratic Party presidential primary, Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is opening a significant lead over former Vice President Joe Biden.

According to the latest Morning Consult nationwide poll, following the Granite State primary, Sanders’ support increased by four points and Biden’s dropped by three points. The Vermont senator is now polling at 29 percent, and Biden is at 19 percent. Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in third place, having secured the support of 18 percent of the electorate.

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — who finished second in New Hampshire, after outperforming the polling in Iowa — is in fourth place nationally, with 11 percent. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, once considered one of the leading candidates, is now in fifth place with 10 percent of the vote. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is polling at 5 percent.

Perceived electability was long considered one of Biden’s greatest strengths, but his collapse in Iowa and New Hampshire appears to have changed public perception. The share of voters who said that Biden has the best chance of beating President Donald Trump in November fell 12 points, to 17 percent.

Sanders is now considered the most electable candidate, according to the poll, with 29 percent of voters saying he has the best chance of beating Trump in the general election. Twenty-five percent think Bloomberg would be able to beat Trump, 8 percent think Buttigieg is electable, 5 percent think the same of Warren, and only 3 percent feel that way about Klobuchar.

Biden has long enjoyed tremendous support from the African-American community, but devastating losses in Iowa and New Hampshire appear to have changed that. Confidence in Biden’s chances among black voters is now at 21 percent, having dropped 10 points since last week.

As for Sanders, 32 percent of black voters think he is the best candidate to beat Trump, which is a 9 percentage points increase since last week. Twenty-one percent think Bloomberg is best poised to beat Trump.

Furthermore, when asked how Biden’s underwhelming performance would affect their future vote, 46 percent of respondents said it makes them less likely to support the former vice president. In a six-point increase, 58 percent of Democratic primary voters said that Sanders’ performance in the Granite State would make them more likely to vote for him.

Some — including Biden — have suggested that Sanders’ embrace of the “democratic socialist” label could be a liability in a general election against Trump, but voters do not seem to feel that way.

Sanders addressed the issue in a recent interview, suggesting that Trump and his critics are hypocritical for being open to corporate welfare, while opposing social programs.

“The difference between my socialism and Trump’s socialism is I believe the government should help working families, not billionaires,” the senator said.