Virginia Poll: Bernie Sanders & Michael Bloomberg Lead

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Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Our Rights Our Courts Presidential Forum event in Concord, N.H., February 8, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

A new Monmouth poll of Virginia, one of the states to vote on Super Tuesday (March 3), shows Michael Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders in a dead heat, with Joe Biden four points back.

Bloomberg 22

Sanders 22

Biden 18

Buttigieg 11

Klobuchar 9

Warren 5

One interesting nugget in the poll is that both Biden and Bloomberg would each beat Sanders in a head-to-head match-up in Virginia, but Klobuchar and Buttigieg would each slightly trail the Vermont socialist: 

The poll asked voters how they would vote in a hypothetical two-person race pitting Sanders against one of the more moderate candidates. In these scenarios, Sanders edges past both Klobuchar (45% to 42%) and Buttigieg (44% to 42%) but comes out on the losing end against Bloomberg (41% to 47%) and by an even wider margin against Biden (38% to 51%.

If Biden manages to win South Carolina, it’s easy to see states like Virginia breaking for him on Super Tuesday. But if he does poorly in the first-in-the-South primary, his supporters could break toward Bloomberg, Buttigieg, or Klobuchar depending on how the next two weeks play out. Monmouth reports that 11 percent of likely Virginia Democratic primary voters “remain undecided and do not lean toward any candidate at this time.” Delegates are only awarded to candidates who get 15 percent or more of the vote.

A national YouGov poll conducted last week showed Bloomberg faring almost as poorly as Buttigieg and Klobuchar when the candidates were placed in head-to-head match-ups against Sanders. All three candidates trailed Sanders by double digits: Bloomberg was 15 points behind, Buttigieg 17 points, and Klobuchar 21 points. Biden trailed Sanders by four points (44 percent to 48 percent), and Warren trailed by two points (44 percent to 42 percent). 

Bloomberg, of course, has not been tested on a national stage yet: He has spent $401 million on his campaign, but he has not yet faced off against his Democratic rivals in a debate. Wednesday night in Las Vegas will be the first time he will do so.

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