After winning the popular vote in the Iowa caucuses and finishing atop the primary in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders could have a breakout moment in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, according to two recent polls.
On Friday, the Nevada Poll conducted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and WPA Intelligence showed the Vermont senator had 25 percent support, with Joe Biden trailing at 18 percent and Elizabeth Warren at 13 percent. It’s an electoral snapshot that the campaigns appear to be taking to heart: Over the weekend, advisers for three other candidates told Politico that — gauging from Sanders’s support in the polls and from his impressive crowd sizes in the state — the best that other campaigns could hope for was second or third place. That impression was bolstered by the Culinary Workers Union’s decision not to endorse any candidate in the caucuses. “Despite its criticism of Sanders’s signature policy proposal, Medicare for All, the union was not convinced that any other Democrat could defeat Sanders, even with the union’s endorsement, according to a source familiar with the union’s deliberations,” Politico reported.
And on Monday, a poll released by Data for Progress had Sanders up by 19 points over the next closest candidate, Warren:
Another big number for Sanders in the Data for Progress poll: The senator carried the support of 66 percent of likely Hispanic voters, leading the next closest candidate, Tom Steyer, by 58 points. And as CNN analyst Harry Enten noted, the progressive think tank has an impressive record thus far in the primary process:
Though Sanders competed in close elections with Pete Buttigieg in Iowa and with the erstwhile mayor and Amy Klobuchar in New Hampshire, those candidates’ levels of support dissipate in Nevada. According to the Nevada Poll, Klobuchar and Buttigieg scored 10 percent support each, while in the Data for Progress poll, the pair scored 9 percent and 15 percent respectively. Warren and Biden, with support in the teens in both polls, are vying for a second-place finish to maintain momentum into Super Tuesday. “Us getting a second place I think does the work that we need to do to win South Carolina,” Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz told the New York Times on Monday. Though the former vice-president lost his lead in national polling averages early last week, he still holds the advantage by 6.5 points in the Palmetto State, which votes a week after Nevada.
Meanwhile, former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg’s presence in the primary could be moved up from his expected entrance on Super Tuesday: According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, PBS NewsHour and Marist will release a poll early on Tuesday morning that could qualify the billionaire to appear onstage at the Democratic debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday.