Taking the Lead: New Poll Shows Bernie Sanders Ahead of His Democratic Competition by 15 Points

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new ABC News-Washington Post poll shows socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders far ahead of his competition for the Democratic presidential nomination.   

The poll’s findings which place Sanders 15 points ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden were released ahead of the Democratic debate in Nevada Wednesday night.

According to the poll, Sanders “has soared and Joe Biden’s crashed in national preference,” meanwhile businessman Michael Bloomberg is on the rise in popularity:

Bernie Sanders has soared and Joe Biden’s crashed in national preference for the Democratic nomination for president, while the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary helped to clear some running room for a candidate who’s not yet been on the ballot: Mike Bloomberg.

Sanders advanced to 32 percent support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, up 8 percentage points from late January. Biden fell to 17 percent, down 11 points to his lowest of the campaign. And Bloomberg, who takes the stage for the first time in tonight’s debate in Nevada, now has 14 percent support, up 6 points.

By contrast, there’s been little if any movement for Pete Buttigieg, a strong finisher in both early contests; Amy Klobuchar, third in New Hampshire; or Elizabeth Warren, who fell short in both. Warren has 11 percent support nationally, unchanged; Buttigieg, 7; and Klobuchar, 6.

Bloomberg, while described as a rising star, is facing his own set of challenges thanks to the re-emergence of sexist remarks and his past support for “racist policies” like so-called "stop-and-frisk" searches.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,066 adults was conducted Feb. 14-17 and has a margin sampling error of 3.5 percentage points.

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