By: Tal Axelrod – thehill.com – February 26, 2020
With the first three presidential nominating contests in the books, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the undisputed front-runner in the Democratic field, but the overwhelming majority of primary voters have yet to cast their ballots.
Other candidates are looking to make up ground in less than a week on Super Tuesday, when 15 states and territories — including the two biggest — will allocate a third of the pledged delegates up for grabs this cycle.
Centrist candidates are increasingly warning of the dangers they say a Sanders nomination can pose to the party and its chances in November, and some are looking to Tuesday’s primaries as the best chance to boost their flagging campaigns.
But polling shows Sanders in a strong position heading into the March 3 contests, particularly in delegate-rich California, fueling fears that the Vermont lawmaker could run away with the nomination after next week, following his close second-place finish in Iowa and victories in New Hampshire and Nevada.
Here are what polls show in each of the 15 states and territories voting on Super Tuesday:
There’s a dearth of polling in Alabama by mainstream pollsters so far, though 52 pledged delegates are up for grabs in the Yellowhammer State.
There have been no polls conducted for the American Samoa caucuses. The contest will allocate six pledged delegates.
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who skipped the four early contests to focus his considerable financial strength on Super Tuesday, has the narrowest of leads in the only poll conducted in Arkansas by Talk Business and Politics–Hendrix College Poll, which was released Tuesday. Bloomberg has a 1-point edge over former Vice President Joe Biden and leads Sanders and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg by just 4 points.
Bloomberg is buoyed in the poll by a strong lead among seniors, while Biden has a double-digit edge among African Americans, setting up a clash of two traditional Democratic bases.
Arkansas will allocate 31 pledged delegates in its primary.
Sanders has emerged as the clear front-runner in California, the crown jewel of the Super Tuesday contests with a whopping 415 delegates.
Surveys released this month consistently show Sanders leading the rest of the primary field with margins ranging from 4 points to 18 points. The most recent, a KQED-NPR survey that was conducted in part during last week’s Nevada caucuses, showed Sanders at 36 percent, up 18 points over Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in second place.
Candidates must hit a 15-percent threshold to garner any delegates from California, raising the prospect that the state’s hefty haul could be split by only a couple of contenders.
Colorado, which will dole out 67 pledged delegates, also has not seen a lot of polls for its presidential primary.
The only Maine poll released this year, conducted by Colby College, shows Sanders with a 9-point lead in the Pine Tree State, whose primary will allocate 24 pledged delegates.
The poll was conducted after the Iowa and New Hampshire contests but before the Nevada caucuses.
Sanders has a narrow 1-point edge over Warren in her home state of Massachusetts, which will award 91 pledged delegates, according the most recent poll.
That survey, conducted by the University of Massachusetts Lowell and released Friday, shows Sanders with 21 percent support among likely primary voters, compared with 20 percent for Warren.
The survey was conducted after the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary but before the Nevada caucuses.
Two polls conducted this month show home-state Sen. Amy Klobuchar in the lead in the Gopher State, which will allocate 75 pledged delegates.
Polling shows a competitive race brewing in the Tar Heel State, with Sanders and Biden fighting for the lead and Bloomberg looming right behind them.
A poll by WRAL-TV and SurveyUSA released last week showed Sanders and Biden knotted in a tie, with a survey U-Mass Lowell conducted largely over the same time period showing a 4-point edge for Sanders.
A Tuesday poll from Civitas Institute, a GOP-leaning group, showed a three-way tie between Sanders, Biden and Bloomberg. Another survey this week from Public Policy Polling, which leans left, shows Biden with a 3-point advantage.
North Carolina’s primary will apportion 110 pledged delegates.
Only two polls have been conducted for Oklahoma’s primary, with conflicting results.
Warren, who originally hails from Oklahoma, does not break double digits in either survey.
Oklahoma’s primary will award 37 pledged delegates.
No recent polls have been conducted for Tennessee’s primary. Sixty-four pledged delegates are up for grabs in the Volunteer State.
Surveys show a tight race in the Texas primary, the second largest Super Tuesday state with 228 delegates at play.
A University of Houston poll this month showed a tie between Sanders and Biden, both of whom lead Warren by just 3 points. A February U-Mass Lowell poll showed Sanders with a 3-point edge over the former vice president, with Bloomberg just 5 points behind.
Sanders is likely hoping for a strong finish in Texas after he cleaned up with Hispanic voters in Nevada, a bloc that makes up a large chunk of the primary electorate in the Lone Star State.
Only one poll has been conducted in Utah, where 29 pledged delegates are at stake. A Suffolk University-Salt Lake Tribune survey from January found Sanders with a 13-point lead in the state.
Sanders has an overwhelming lead in his home state, trouncing his competition in the lone poll released so far.
Sanders leads the field by 38 points in a Vermont Public Radio poll, garnering 51 percent support. Buttigieg trails in second with 13 percent.
Sixteen pledged delegates are at stake in Vermont’s primary.
Virginia and its 99 pledged delegates will be hotly contested next week, with a recent poll showing a tight race between Sanders, Bloomberg and Biden.
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