Progressive journalist says Sanders could outperform Biden in Midwest

Journalist Emma Vigeland said on Wednesday that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Progressive group launches campaign to identify voters who switch to Warren MORE (I-Vt.) could be more successful than former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden, Eastland and rejecting the cult of civility Inslee unveils plan to fight fossil fuel pollution Biden lays out immigration priorities, rips Trump for 'assault on dignity' MORE in the Democratic primary in the Midwest. 

"When you look at poll numbers in the Midwest, where the Democrats really need to make inroads, where Trump won a lot of the areas where Obama had previously won ... Bernie Sanders polls extremely well there," Vigeland, a correspondent and producer at the left-leaning The Young Turks, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking."

"I think that that's where he would actually be more successful than someone like Joe Biden, who has decided to run as a centrist," she continued. 

"There's this kind of false perception that the center is in between the left and the right ideologically, where I would say the center is more populist, which is why we saw Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE actually win, and why I think Bernie Sanders could have a similar appeal with those voters," she said. 

Most national polling shows Biden, the primary's current front-runner, leading Sanders. 

However, an Iowa Starting Line/Change Research poll released on Monday shows Sanders and Biden tied at 24 percent among likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa.

— Julia Manchester