Sen. Bernie Sanders and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg are tied for the lead in Virginia, according to a new poll in one of the larger states to hold a primary on Super Tuesday in two weeks.
Sanders – the populist senator from Vermont who’s making his second straight White House run – stands at 22 percent support among likely Democratic presidential primary voters in Virginia’s March 3 primary, according to a Monmouth University survey released Tuesday morning. So does Bloomberg, the billionaire Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat who announced his presidential bid less than three months ago.
NEW NATIONAL POLL PUTS BLOOMBERG OVER THE TOP AND ONTO WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S DEBATE STAGE
Former Vice President Joe Biden stands at 18 percent in the poll, just 4 percentage points behind Sanders and Bloomberg. Their slight edge over the former vice president is within the survey’s sampling error.
According to the poll, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg registers at 11 percent, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota at 9 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 5 percent, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii at just 1 percent and billionaire environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer at less than 1 percent.
Eleven percent of those questioned said they were undecided. And only a quarter of those polled said they were firmly behind the candidate they’re backing.
With 99 delegates at stake, Virginia’s the fourth largest of the 14 states holding contests on Super Tuesday, trailing only California, Texas and North Carolina. The state doesn’t have any political party registration – and any voter can participate in the primary.
“Virginia provides an interesting test on Super Tuesday. A wide range of candidates appeal to voters here and it is very much a jump ball at this point,” director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute Patrick Murray said.
Besides being an important Super Tuesday state, Virginia’s also considered one of around a dozen battleground states in the presidential election in November.
BLOOMBERG’S BUCKS: HOW BILLIONAIRE’S CAMPAIGN SPENDING STACKS UP AGAINST DEMOCRATIC 2020 RIVALS
Because of his late entry into the Democratic presidential nomination race, Bloomberg decided to skip the four early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina and instead concentrate his efforts on the delegate-rich states that vote on Super Tuesday and beyond.
“I’ve been to Virginia more than anywhere else,” Bloomberg told the crowd of more than 900 as he campaigned at a craft brewery in the capital city of Richmond over the weekend.
The Monmouth University poll was conducted Feb. 13-16, with 400 likely Democratic presidential primary voters in Virginia questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
The Monmouth poll was released as a new national survey from Marist for PBS and NPR indicated Bloomberg at 19 percent support. The survey was the fourth Democratic National Committee qualifying poll where Bloomberg reached at least 10 percent, putting him on the stage Wednesday night for the Democratic presidential nomination debate in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fox News’ Kelly Phares contributed to this report.