Majority want Biden to win the Democratic nomination over Sanders, new national poll shows

WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Joe Biden is the favored Democratic presidential nominee by a 19-point margin over Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to a new national poll by Quinnipiac University released Monday.

Asked who they would prefer to see win the nomination, 54% of Democratic voters and independents who lean Democratic chose Biden, while 35% said they favored Sanders. Another 2% preferred Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the only other Democratic candidate remaining in the race.

Biden was also viewed more favorably by Democratic and Democratic-leaning poll respondents than Sanders. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of the former vice president, and 13% had an unfavorable view. For Sanders, 71% said their view of the senator was favorable, and 17% view him unfavorably.

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Democratic and Democratic-leaning poll respondents said Biden was more electable than Sanders against President Donald Trump. Eighty percent said it is either very or somewhat likely that Biden would win in the general election against Trump, while 61% said the same for Sanders.

In head-to-head matchups between the two Democrats and Trump surveying registered voters from any political party, both Biden and Sanders came out ahead of the president, but Biden led by a wider margin. In those contests, Biden beat Trump 52%-41%, an 11 percentage point margin. Sanders leads Trump 49%-42%, a 7 percentage point margin. 

And of all three main candidates — Biden, Sanders and Trump — the most favorably viewed by all registered voters surveyed was Biden, followed by Sanders and Trump in last place.

The poll comes ahead of Tuesday primary races in six states, with Biden headed into the night with a lead in pledged delegates, 664 to 573 as of Monday afternoon, after a successful Super Tuesday showing and South Carolina victory.

Biden is also leading in Michigan according to polling out of that state on Monday. He held a 51%-27% lead, according to the Detroit Free Press poll. There are 125 delegates up for grabs in that state Tuesday.

Detroit Free Press poll:Biden holds huge 24-point edge over Sanders in Michigan

“It’s down to two and looks very much like the Biden resurgence could be a fatal blow to the Sanders revolution,” Quinnipiac poll analyst Tim Malloy said.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,261 registered voters from March 5-8. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. For questions surveying 559 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, the poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points. 

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