by Ted O’Neil
Former Vice President Joe Biden has maintained his lead among contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination heading into Thursday night’s Los Angeles debate, according to a new national poll.
The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll puts Biden at 28 percent support among likely Democratic voters, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 21 percent. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in at 18 percent and South Bend, Ind., Mayor received 9 percent.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are at 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
Biden has 50 percent of the African American vote and leads Warren 28 percent to 22 percent among Democratic women, the new poll found. He also leads the 37-year-old Buttigieg 13 percent to 6 percent among Democrats under 35, though all candidates trail Sanders among that demographic, who has 43 percent.
A different national poll earlier this week showed Biden at 24 percent and Sanders at 22 percent, with Warren at 17 percent and Buttigieg at 13 percent.
Polling last week showed Biden with a double-digit lead over Sanders, 29 percent to 17 percent, with Warren and Buttigieg at 15 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
In that poll, Bloomberg catapulted over several other candidates to get 5 percent support just three weeks after getting into the race. California businessman Andrew Yang was at 4 percent and Klobuchar 3 percent.
Although Buttigieg has seen his numbers drop in some recent national polling, he continues to lead all candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire. The Iowa caucuses are Feb. 3 and New Hampshire’s primary is Feb. 11. Biden tops the field in Nevada and South Carolina, which vote Feb. 22 and 29, respectively.
Looking ahead to Super Tuesday – March 3 – Biden is leading in most of the larger states that vote that day, including Texas, North Carolina and Michigan.
Warren, however, has a slim lead over Sanders and Biden in California, with an average of 24 percent support across seven polls. Biden and Sanders are at 22 percent and 19 percent, respectively, with Buttigieg at 9 percent. Sanders did top Warren in the most recent California poll, 24 percent to 22 percent, with Biden at 14 percent and Buttigieg at 12.
Biden has a commanding lead in North Carolina, averaging 33 percent across five polls, with Warren at 16 percent, Sanders at 14 percent and Buttigieg at 5 percent.
In Texas, Biden stands at 26 percent over two polls, compared to Warren at 19 percent, Sanders at 15 percent and Buttigieg at 7 percent.
Three Michigan polls show Biden averaging 28 percent support. Warren is at 22 percent and Sanders 20 percent, with Buttigieg at 6 percent.
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