Biden leads Sanders by single digits in South Carolina: poll

Biden leads Sanders by single digits in South Carolina: poll
© Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump commutes Roger Stone's sentence Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok House Democrat warns about 'inaccurate' polls: Trump voters 'fundamentally undercounted' MORE (D) remains the leader of the Democratic field in South Carolina, but faces a strong showing by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump glosses over virus surge during Florida trip The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response Ex-Sanders aide says Biden unity task forces need to go farther MORE (I-Vt.), who is close on his heels in in the state, according to a new UMass Lowell poll.

Sanders sits just 2 percentage points behind Biden in the survey of likely primary voters, with 21 percent and 23 percent of respondents indicating their support for Sanders and Biden, respectively. They both sit comfortably ahead of the third-place contender, billionaire Tom SteyerTom SteyerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Celebrities fundraise for Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary MORE, who has garnered 13 percent support in the poll.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Pharma pricing is a problem, but antitrust isn't the (only) solution The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations MORE (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden campaign hires top cybersecurity officials to defend against threats Biden strikes populist tone in blistering rebuke of Trump, Wall Street Buttigieg's new book, 'Trust,' slated for October release MORE (D) were tied behind Steyer at 11 percent in the poll, while no other candidates registered double-digit levels of support in the survey.


South Carolina represents a major test for candidates among voters of color, as black voters make up 60 percent of the electorate in the state — a major shift from previous contests in the majority white states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Biden leads among black likely voters in the poll with 43 percent, while Sanders polls at 20 percent. Of note is improvement for Buttigieg, who received support from 16 percent of black respondents. Buttigieg has struggled to garner support from the African American voting bloc in the past. 

"[O]ur poll has this as a close race, with Biden only ahead by 2 points and Sanders inside the margin of error. With just 10 days to go, Biden needs to hold this lead and prove he can win if he wants to make a play on Super Tuesday,” said poll director Jonathan Dyck in a statement.

The UMass Lowell poll was conducted between Feb. 12-18, with a pool of 400 likely South Carolina primary voters. The margin of error is 7.5 percentage points.