After winning the popular vote in Iowa and the New Hampshire primary, Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont surged to a double-digit lead in national polling, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden 10 points behind.
Democratic Party insiders have downplayed Sanders' success, however, suggesting that he is benefiting from the crowded field, with the moderate vote being split among several candidates. A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll suggests that this may not be the case.
In hypothetical head-to-head matchups, Sanders beats every other Democratic presidential candidate, some of them by double-digit margins. In other words, in a one-on-one race, he would dominate the primary, but it's the crowded field that is preventing him from doing so.
In a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, Sanders would beat billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg by 15 points, with 53 percent of the vote. In a race against Sanders, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg would receive only 37 percent of the vote, and the Vermont senator would enjoy the support of 54 percent of the Democratic electorate.
In a one-on-one race, Sanders would beat Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar by 21 points, with 54 percent of the vote as opposed to Klobuchar's 33 percent. The Vermont senator's closest competitors in hypothetical head-to-head matchups are Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. One-on-one, Sanders would beat them by four and two points, respectively.The poll suggests that voters are not nearly as ideological as conventional wisdom suggests and that those who now support moderate candidates would not necessarily back one in a one-on-one race against Sanders, according to Yahoo News.
According to the publication, the survey demonstrates "that if and when only two candidates are left standing, more Democrats would side with Sanders than with anyone else -- no matter who his last remaining rival is."
"This defies conventional wisdom about the Democratic contest, which has long held that Sanders is a factional candidate with a low ceiling of support and that most Democratic primary voters would prefer a more moderate nominee."Interestingly, in head-to-head matchups, Bloomberg -- who entered later than any other candidate, skipping the early states and focusing on Super Tuesday states and beyond -- loses to every other Democratic White House hopeful. In a one-on-one race Sanders would beat the billionaire by 15 points, Warren would beat him by 14, Biden by 13, Buttigieg by seven, and Klobuchar by five points. The next Democratic primary competition will take place in Nevada, where Sanders is also poised to win. According to the latest polling, the Vermont senator is the clear favorite, with a seven-point advantage over Biden.