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New national poll shows Sanders surpassing Biden with African Americans

New national poll shows Sanders surpassing Biden with African Americans
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care: CDC approves Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 | House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill | Panel blasts COVID-19 response Briahna Joy Gray: Warren not endorsing Sanders in 2020 was 'really frustrating' House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill MORE (I-Vt.) has strengthened his lead in the 2020 Democratic presidential race and surpassed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE in support from African American voters, according to a new poll.

The Reuters-Ipsos survey released Tuesday found Sanders's lead stretching into the double digits for the first time, with the senator holding an 11-point advantage in the race and a 3-point edge over Biden among black voters.

Overall, 26 percent of surveyed Democrats and independents said they would vote for Sanders, a self-identified democratic socialist, while Biden and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (D) tied in a distant second with 15 percent support.

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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' Briahna Joy Gray: Warren not endorsing Sanders in 2020 was 'really frustrating' McConnell hits Democratic critics of Israel MORE (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegGas shortages spread to more states Biden officials warn against hoarding gasoline amid shortages Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE garnered the backing of 10 percent of respondents. Four percent said they would vote for Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar Klobuchar offers tribute to her father, who died Wednesday The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Senate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill MORE (D-Minn.), while 3 percent said they'd back billionaire activist Tom SteyerTom SteyerTop 12 political donors accounted for almost 1 of every 13 dollars raised since 2009: study California Democrats weigh their recall options Why we should be leery of companies entering political fray MORE

Sanders cemented himself as the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination after a decisive victory at the Nevada caucuses last weekend. The victory came on the heels of a win in New Hampshire and a close second-place finish behind Buttigieg in Iowa.

The Vermont senator's continued rise in the latest Reuters survey corresponded with a significant increase in support from African American voters. Twenty-six percent of respondents in that demographic said they would back Sanders, a 7-point jump from a previous poll conducted between Jan. 29 and Feb. 19.

Meanwhile, Biden earned 23 percent support among African Americans, a 10-point dip since the previous survey. His drop coincided with a 10-point jump in support for Bloomberg, who now has 20 percent support among African Americans. 

The declining support among black voters could mark a test for Biden's campaign. Despite poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, the former vice president has continued to express confidence that his standing in the race will strengthen as more-diverse states hold voting.

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He has invested heavily in South Carolina, where a majority of the electorate is African American, ahead of the state's primary on Saturday. Other recent polls have shown Biden with a slim lead over Sanders in the state, though polling has indicated a slight drop in support among black voters.

Biden told CBS Sunday that Steyer's massive advertising spending in the state was a cause of that slide. Bloomberg is not competing in South Carolina, instead focusing on Super Tuesday states. 

"I think a lot’s happening in terms of the amount of money being spent by billionaires to try to cut into the African American vote," Biden said. 

The Reuters-Ipsos public opinion survey was conducted online Feb. 19-25 among a sample of 4,439 adults, including 2,244 who identify as registered Democrats or independents and 446 African Americans. The survey's credibility interval is between 2 and 5 percentage points.