Biden, Sanders contend for top spot, Bloomberg sees surge in Hill/HarrisX poll

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenStopping Israel's annexation is a US national security interest Trump slams Biden staff for donating bail money to protesters At least 4,400 people arrested in connection with protests: report MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJudd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Biden's 'allies' gearing up to sink his campaign Expanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support MORE (I-Vt.) are neck-and-neck in a battle for first place in a new Hill/HarrisX 2020 preference national poll.

In the Feb. 7-10 survey, 23 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters favored Joe Biden while 20 percent preferred Sanders. 

While the Vermont senator gained 3 percentage points from the last democratic preference poll, Biden dropped 6 percentage points.

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Liberals embrace super PACs they once shunned .7 billion expected to be spent in 2020 campaign despite coronavirus: report MORE surged in the poll to third place, at 16 percent, a 5 percentage point increase from the last survey. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenJudd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Vogue's Anna Wintour urges Biden to pick woman of color for VP Biden should name a 'team of colleagues' MORE (D-Mass.) remained steady in the poll, at 9 percent, while Former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Here's how Biden can win over the minority vote and the Rust Belt MORE jumped 4 percentage points to tie with Warren.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharJudd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Vogue's Anna Wintour urges Biden to pick woman of color for VP Biden should name a 'team of colleagues' MORE (D-Mn.), entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis McConnell challenger on how Yang endorsement could help him MORE, and billionaire Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE all received 3 percent in the poll. 

All other candidates received 2 percent or less and 11 percent of voters are still undecided.

Despite his recent drop in the polls, experts have noted Biden's strong support among African Americans and older voters, a factor that might keep him at the top of the leaderboard nationally, if support holds. 

"Biden’s strength with African Americans and older voters is keeping him at the top of the polls, though Sanders base is loyal," Molly Murphy, Democratic pollster and Partner of ALG Research told The Hill.

"What is interesting is that in the last 10 or so days, Mike Bloomberg is beginning to surge, outperforming Buttigieg on the heels of his Iowa win, and only slightly behind Sanders and Biden," she added.

Sanders and Bloomberg have gained ground in other nation-wide surveys, including recent Quinnipiac University and Monmouth University polls.

The candidates face off tonight in New Hampshire in the first primary election of the season, where Sanders has been leading in recent surveys.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 913 registered Democratic and Democratic-leaning Independent voters between Feb. 7 and 10. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

 — Gabriela Schulte