Sanders hits highest support since August

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE’s (I-Vt.) support has climbed to its highest level in nearly five months, according to a new Hill-HarrisX poll of the Democratic presidential primary race.

The nationwide survey released Tuesday showed that 19 percent of respondents support Sanders, which makes him just one point shy of his previous high of 20 percent in the August 16 poll.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE, meanwhile, maintained the top spot with 29 percent support. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE (D-Mass.) placed third, holding at 11 percent.

After rising to third place alongside Warren in the Jan. 3 survey, former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE slipped 4 percentage points to 7 percent.

Former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE also saw a slight dip, dropping from 6 percent to 4 percent.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE (D-Minn.) and billionaire Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE each received three percent support. The rest of the candidates in the crowded Democratic field polled at 2 percent or less.

The survey is likely welcome news for the Sanders campaign ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

Sanders’s campaign has intensified attacks against top rivals ahead in recent months, specifically targeting Biden and Warren.

Sanders and his aides have repeatedly gone after Biden for his past positions on racial issues and his vote in favor of the Iraq War.

Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to the Sanders campaign, issued a statement over the weekend, saying he found it “appalling” that the former vice president “still refuses to admit he was dead wrong on the Iraq War.”

Former Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryDemocratic insiders stay on the sidelines in 2020 race 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents John Kerry: Democratic debate 'was something of a food fight' MORE later accused Sanders of "distorting" Biden's record on Iraq.

Sanders’s campaign has also engaged in a dust-up with the Massachusetts senator's campaign, reportedly telling prospective voters that the candidate is a weak election choice because she only appeals to white educated liberals.

The back-and-forth eventually culminated with Warren’s claim that Sanders had told her during a 2018 meeting that a woman could not win a general election race against President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE.

Both feuds could come to a head in Tuesday night’s Democratic primary debate. 

Sanders is among the six candidates set to take the stage in Iowa. The event marks the last debate before the Hawkeye State holds its caucus on Feb. 3.

The Hill-HarrisX survey was conducted among 451 Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning independents. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn