Joe Biden has seized control of the Democratic primary, with a new poll showing that he holds a lead of close to 30 points in a new national poll and has a string of favorable contests ahead.
The NBC News/WSJ poll released on Sunday showed that Biden had the support of 61 percent of Democratic voters compared to just 32 percent for Sanders. Another 4 percent said they were supporting congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who has remained in the race despite holding just two delegates.
Biden has surged into the lead after poor performances in the first three contests of the Democratic primary, winning the fourth in South Carolina and riding the momentum to a string of upset victories on Super Tuesday. Biden now holds a lead of more than 150 delegates over Sanders, with the gap expected to grow even more as Biden holds a wide lead in polling for the delegate-rich state of Florida.
With a rapidly shrinking path to winning a majority of delegates, Sanders has faced calls to drop out of the race. Congressman James Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden ahead of the South Carolina primary is credited with helping the former vice president turn around his fortunes, said on Super Tuesday that Sanders should see the writing on the wall and leave the race.
“I think when the night is over, Joe Biden will be the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and, quite frankly, if the night ends the way it has begun, I think it is time for us to shut this primary down, it is time for us to cancel the rest of these debates — because you don’t do anything but get yourself in trouble if you continue in this contest when it’s obvious that the numbers will not shake out for you,” Clyburn said, via The Hill.
Sanders has resisted the calls for him to leave the race, however. The Vermont senator said he plans to debate Biden on Sunday in Arizona and has opened new campaign offices this week in Pennsylvania. Sanders also said he plans to press Biden for his plans on addressing high medical costs for working people and small businesses.
As Sunday’s poll showed, Biden has continued to firm up his support and now has double the amount of strong support as Sanders. A total of 52 percent of respondents said they would “definitely” back Biden and just 26 percent said they were firmly behind Sanders.