Biden leads Sanders by 7 in new national poll

Biden leads Sanders by 7 in new national poll
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response Biden tells CNN town hall that he has benefited from white privilege MORE has a 7-point lead over Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security The Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (I-Vt.) in a new national poll, with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon No new taxes for the ultra rich — fix bad tax policy instead MORE (D-Mass.) in a distant third place.

The latest Monmouth University survey finds Biden at 30 percent, followed by Sanders at 23 percent and Warren at 14 percent. All three candidates saw a modest increase in support, with Biden gaining 4 points, Sanders 2 and Warren 3.

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergTop Democratic super PAC launches Florida ad blitz after Bloomberg donation The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Latest with the COVID-19 relief bill negotiations The Memo: 2020 is all about winning Florida MORE, who has not been in any debates but is spending tens of millions of dollars on a self-funded national advertising campaign, comes in fourth place at 9 percent support, up from 5 percent in the previous survey.

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Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration Overnight Defense: Woodward book causes new firestorm | Book says Trump lashed out at generals, told Woodward about secret weapons system | US withdrawing thousands of troops from Iraq A socially and environmentally just way to fight climate change MORE is at 6 percent, followed by Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharEPA delivers win for ethanol industry angered by waivers to refiners It's time for newspapers to stop endorsing presidential candidates Biden marks anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, knocks Trump and McConnell MORE (D-Minn.) at 4 percent and businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangDoctor who allegedly assaulted Evelyn Yang arrested on federal charges The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden weighs in on police shootings | Who's moderating the debates | Trump trails in post-convention polls Buttigieg launches his own podcast MORE at 3 percent.

“With the exception of Bloomberg’s entry, this race looks pretty much like it did six months ago,” said Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray. “But that stability masks the potential for sizable swings once the first contests are held. Iowa and New Hampshire will play a major role in shaping national voter preferences.”

The primary race took a bitter and unexpected turn last week after Warren accused Sanders of telling her in a private meeting that a woman could not win the White House. Sanders denies making the remark.

The Monmouth poll found that 74 percent of Democratic voters say it doesn’t matter whether the party nominates a man or a woman to run against President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE, while 13 percent say it is better to nominate a man and 8 percent say it’s better to nominate a woman.

“It might make for great TV, but most Democrats seem immune to the ‘he said, he didn’t say’ dust-up between Sanders and Warren,” said Murray. “Or at least they say that gender doesn’t matter.”

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A strong majority of Democratic voters, 58 percent, said the nominating process should be changed to feature a single national primary in which every state votes on the same day, rather than the current set-up, in which Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina are the first four to vote.

Only 11 percent of Democrats want to keep the calendar the way it is, while 15 percent said the system should be modified to increase the number of early-voting states. Another 10 percent support grouped state primaries.

Fifty-six percent of Democrats said voters in Iowa and New Hampshire have too much influence in picking the nominee.

The primary calendar has been in focus this year as the Democrats’ largest and most diverse field ever has been whittled down to the top four candidates, who are all white.

There were no people of color on stage at last week’s debate in Des Moines, Iowa, and critics say this is a result of two predominantly white states being the first to cast ballots.

“Most Democratic voters would like to see an overhaul of the primary calendar,” said Murray. “This view appears to be more out of a sense of fairness to the party’s diverse electorate than concerns they might have about the ability of Iowa and New Hampshire voters to properly vet the field.”

The Monmouth University survey of 372 Democrats was conducted between Jan. 16 and Jan. 20 and has a 5.1 percentage point margin of error.