How Sweet It is!
ermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened a commanding lead over his rivals in Wisconsin’s Democratic primary race after strong performances in early-voting states, according to a new statewide poll.
The Wisconsin poll, coordinated by the UW-Madison Elections Research Center in collaboration with the Wisconsin State Journal, also shows a precipitous decline in support for former Vice President Joe Biden and an upswing for the newcomer to the race, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Sanders, who won the state’s 2016 presidential primary, was the top choice for 30% of registered voters intending to vote in the Democratic primary on April 7. The five other top Democratic contenders besides Sanders find themselves scrabbling for second place with between 9% and 13% support.
“Bernie Sanders is clearly the leader among Democrats,” said UW-Madison political science professor Barry Burden, who has developed a new battleground state polling project in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania through his Elections Research Center. “He has a pretty commanding position.”
Despite Sanders’ position in the primary, he doesn’t fare much better in the general election than the other Democratic contenders, who each have slight leads over President Donald Trump in a hypothetical match-up, but all within the poll’s margin of error.
“In the general, who the nominee is didn’t do much to change what voters’ likely intentions were,” Burden said.
Sanders also leads among Democratic primary voters in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but by smaller margins, the poll found.
The poll was conducted Feb. 11-20 by YouGov, which has also done polls for CBS News, The Economist and other news outlets.
The opt-in online poll includes 1,000 registered voters in Wisconsin, 1,300 in Michigan and 1,300 in Pennsylvania. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1, 3.4 and 3.2 percentage points, respectively. For the Democratic primary voter sample in Wisconsin the margin of error is plus or minus 6 percentage points. The sample was selected and weighted to reflect the adult population in each state based on gender, age, race and education.
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