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Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaigns at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. (Photo: Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaigns at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. (Photo: Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Amid National Surge, New Poll Shows Bernie Sanders Top Democrat in New Hampshire

"Bernie is in the pocket of #BigUs," supporters are saying. "Pass it on."

Jon Queally

Enjoying a national upswing this week—including a return to second place in the Real Clear Politics poll average and in a new poll out Wednesday—Sen. Bernie Sanders also now leads in the key early state of New Hampshire, according to a new state survey.

According to the Emerson poll released Tuesday, Sanders is now in first place with 26% followed by South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg in second with 22%, and former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren tied for third with 14% each.

Dramatic in the results of the tracking poll was the swing among the top four candidates since it was last conducted in September, with Sanders up 13 points and Buttigieg up 11 points, while Warren and Biden dropped 6 and 10 points respectively.

Spencer Kimball, director of Emerson Polling, said "the Democratic voters have taken a look at Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren and they appear unsatisfied at this time which brought some voters back to Bernie Sanders while others are now moving to a fresh face in Pete Buttigieg, this demonstrates the fluidity of the race."

According to Emerson:

Sanders has retaken a strong lead among those under 50 in New Hampshire, now leading with 38% support among that group. Following him among younger voters is Warren at 16%, Buttigieg at 12% and Biden at 8%. Buttigieg leads with those 50 and over with 32% support, followed by Biden with 19%, Sanders with 15% and Warren with 11%.

Sanders holds a stronger lead among registered Democrats as he garners 31% support among this group, followed by Buttigieg and Biden with 17%, and Warren with 15%. Among independents, Buttigieg leads with 29% support, followed by Sanders with 21%, Warren with 12% and Biden with 10%.

Looking within ideology, Sanders leads within those who are very liberal with 47% support, followed by Warren with 18%, Buttigieg with 12%, and Biden with 7%. Among those self-described as somewhat liberal, Buttigieg leads with 28% support, followed by Sanders with 25%, Warren with 18% and Biden with 12%. Among moderate/conservative voters, Buttigieg leads with 23% support, followed by Biden with 18%, Sanders with 17% and Gabbard with 11%.

As members of the Sanders campaign noted, the Emerson poll emerged just one day after the New York Times ran a headline—titled "Did New Hampshire Fall Out of Love With Bernie Sanders?"—that strongly suggested the senator's star was falling in the early voting New England state. Campaign speechwriter David Sirota tweeted:

And Mike Casca, the campaign's communication director, said wryly: "I read somewhere recently that New Hampshire fell out of love with Bernie."

Meanwhile, on the national level, the Real Clear Politics poll average showed Sanders had returned to second place behind Biden, pushing Warren back to third place with Buttigieg still at a distant fourth. The average, which incorporates national polls taken up through Nov. 25th, showed Biden leading nationally with 28.2%; followed by Sanders with 17.8%; Warren with 16.7%; and Buttigieg with 10.5%.

Following that trend, a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS released Wednesday showed Biden in the lead with 28% followed by Sanders in second place with 17% percent of support among registered Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents. Warren holds the third spot with 14% while Buttigieg comes in last among the top tier with 11%.

Notably, as CNN points out, Sanders enjoys the trust of most voters when it comes to the key issues of the climate crisis and healthcare:

On health care, 28% say Sanders—an advocate of "Medicare for All" and the elimination of private health insurance—would best handle the issue. That's about even with the 26% who choose Biden, who has argued against moving to a completely government-run system. Another 19% say they prefer Warren's approach, which ultimately results in government health coverage for all, while 7% choose Buttigieg, and no other candidate has the backing of more than 3% on the issue.

Sanders leads the way more clearly on handling the climate crisis: 27% favor his approach, followed by 21% who prefer Biden and 15% Warren.

In an edition of the Sanders campaign's Bern Notice newsletter sent Tuesday, Sirota noted that his candidate is now surging nationally but also pointed to the early voting states where, in addition to New Hampshire, Sanders is gaining ground.

"A new poll shows that since early October, Bernie has gained a whopping 9 points in the early primary and caucus states that could play a pivotal role in the 2020 election," Sirota wrote. "As of today, Bernie is at 23 percent—and just 3 points behind Joe Biden—in Morning Consult's tracking poll of Democratic voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada."

In Iowa on Tuesday, the campaign released a new ad focused on the state that featured a new rallying cry for the campaign: "Big Us."

"Bernie is in the pocket of #BigUs," supporters online were saying as they shared the ad and the message on social media. "Pass it on."


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