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The Democratic presidential race is heating up in the early-voting state of Iowa, with support solidifying for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a new poll.

{mosads}Without Vice President Joe Biden in the race, Clinton leads Sanders by 7 points, 48 to 41 percent, in the Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll released Thursday.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley takes 2 percent and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee takes 1 percent in the Iowa poll without Biden in the mix.

Before Biden announced he wouldn’t run, 12 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers supported him. Without Biden, Clinton’s support increases 6 points and Sanders’s increases 4 points.

Clinton strengthened her grip as the favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination Wednesday when Biden said that his window for running in 2016 had closed.

Sanders has run closely with Clinton in another early-voting state, New Hampshire, where the pair have split a handful of polls since the first Democratic debate last month.

The latest survey of 402 likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa was conducted Oct. 16 to Oct. 19 with a margin of error of 4.9 points.

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