Polls: Voters see Sanders as best candidate to beat Trump, leads with black voters nationally

WASHINGTON – According to a new poll, a majority of Democratic voters believe Sen. Bernie Sanders now has the best chance of beating President Donald Trump in November. 

Surveyed after Sander’s victory in Nevada, 34% of Democratic likely voters in the latest Morning Consult Survey concluded the Vermont senator is the best candidate to face Trump.

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Coming behind Sanders in terms of electability against the president is former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg at 23%, while former Vice President Joe Biden finished third at 17%.  

That poll of 954 Democratic primary voters solidifies Sanders’ lead as the leading candidate. He has emerged as the front-runner after winning two of the first three primary contests. In addition to leading in the delegate count, the self-described democratic socialist has been surging in most recent polls.

In addition to electability in the general election, the Morning Consult also showed that Sanders overtook Biden with black voters nationally for the first time. 

Thirty-three percent of black voters said they are backing Sanders, while 29% said they would back Biden. 

That is within the poll’s 4 point margin of error but the poll shows that Biden doesn’t appear to be the candidate leading with voters in the African-American community.

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That Morning Consult poll of 2,631 Democratic primary voters was conducted on Feb. 23. 

After he placed fifth in the New Hampshire primary, national polls have consistently shown a drop in Biden’s support from African Americans, nationally.

NBC poll 

Biden is still leading among African Americans in South Carolina, though, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll. That state is critical to the longevity of his campaign.

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After earning a second-place finish in Nevada, Biden heads to a crucial test in the South Carolina primary, where political experts said a win could breathe life into his flagging presidential campaign – or another loss could end it.

The NBC News/Marist survey of 2,382 overall registered voters was conducted Feb. 18 to Feb. 21, before Saturday’s Nevada caucuses. 

Biden performed best among moderates at 38% while Sanders surged with young voters at 40% and self-described progressives at 34%.

More:Why GOP-friendly South Carolina is still a key state for Democratic presidential hopefuls

Overall in South Carolina, Biden and Sanders are trailed by billionaire Tom Steyer at 15%. Biden has blamed his slide in South Carolina on Steyer, who has poured millions of dollars in the race for that state. 

“What’s happening is you have Steyer spending millions of dollars out campaigning there, so 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 told CBS during a Sunday interview.

Following them are Buttigieg at 9%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., at 8%, and Klobuchar at 5%. 

Contributing: William Cummings, Bart Jansen

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