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New polls show really bad news for Biden as Sanders surges

Sanders is now leading in Iowa and New Hampshire

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A new batch of polls have really bad news for former Vice President Joe Biden and his campaign for the Democratic Party nomination in 2020.

Two surveys — taken in Iowa and New Hampshire within the past week — show Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with a clear lead in both early voting states.

In Iowa, Sanders has 25 percent support among caucus-goers, opening a seven-point lead on the rest of the Democratic pack, with former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg coming in at second place with 18 percent, according to the New York Times/Siena poll. The poll shows Biden in third place at 17 percent.

In New Hampshire, meanwhile, a poll released Thursday by WBUR shows the so-called democratic socialist with a commanding 12-point lead over his rivals. According to the survey, Buttigieg and Biden find themselves in second and third place, respectively.

Part of a trend?

The Iowa and New Hampshire poll results showing Sanders with a late surge are not isolated and appear to be consistent with other studies conducted in recent days.

For instance, a CNN/University of New Hampshire poll released on Sunday has Sanders with a nine-point lead over Biden (16 percent), while Buttigieg is in third place with 15 percent support. Meanwhile, an NBC/Marist poll published over the weekend also shows Sanders ahead of his Democratic rivals with a five-point lead among likely voters.

Iowa does appear to be a closer race, though. The RealClearPolitics average shows Biden with a razor-thin 0.4 percentage-point lead in the Hawkeye State. However, a CBS/YouGov survey taken January 16-23 found a statistical tie, with Sanders leading Biden by one point, 26 to 25 percent, followed closely by Buttigieg in third place at 22 percent.

At Warren's expense

One of the patterns that's clear from the recent survey results is that Sanders' surge appears to be hurting Sen. Elizabeth Warren's prospects. The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows the progressive Massachusetts senator in third place in both states.

As the New York Times observed:

The rise of Mr. Sanders has come at the expense of his fellow progressive, Senator Elizabeth Warren: she dropped from 22 percent in the October poll, enough to lead the field, to 15 percent in this survey. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is garnering 8 percent, is the only other candidate approaching double digits.

The race is also tightening at the national level, as two of the last three nationwide polls taken show Biden with a lead within the margin of error. On Jan. 1, the former vice president led by an average of nine points. His average national lead over Sanders has been cut by a third to six percent.

One last thing…
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