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Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field: poll

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike House set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package On The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst MORE (I) are leading the Democratic primary field in a new NPR-PBSNewsHour-Marist poll, the latest indication that the progressive senator from Vermont is seeing a surge in support ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

Twenty-four percent of Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning independents said they supported Biden, while Sanders was close behind at 22 percent. 

Together the two candidates amassed nearly half of the support from Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning independents. 

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Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenExclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren Minimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE (D-Mass.) garnered 17 percent support, followed by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegExclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden vs. Trump, part II Chasten Buttigieg jokes about his husband biking home from work MORE (D), who came in at 13 percent support. 

Tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangYang intervenes after man threatened with metal pole on Staten Island Ferry NYC's largest union endorses Maya Wiley in mayoral race Five things to watch in the New York City mayoral race MORE rounded out the top five candidates in the poll with 5 percent support.  

The poll's margin of error among the voter groups is plus or minus 5.4 percentage points.  

The same survey showed Sanders leading Biden with voters of color, a voting bloc that Biden has carried throughout the 2020 primary campaign. 

Twenty-nine percent of nonwhite voters said they supported Sanders, while 26 percent threw their support behind the former vice president. 

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The survey is the latest sign of Sanders solidifying his second place position in the crowded primary, posing a clear threat to longtime front-runner Biden. 

Change Research-Post and Courier poll out of South Carolina on Friday showed Biden at 27 percent support among South Carolina voters with Sanders close on his heels at 20 percent, marking the first time in this primary Biden has not held a double-digit lead in the state.

The polls come less than two months away from the first Democratic nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, which will provide successful candidates with momentum going into Nevada, South Carolina, and the Super Tuesday states. 

Seven of the candidates, including Biden and Sanders, are set to face off in Los Angeles on Thursday for the final primary debate of the year. 

The NPR-PBSNewsHour-Marist poll was conducted Dec. 9–11 among 1,744 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Seven hundred and four Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning independents were polled during the same period with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.4 percentage points.