Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. | David Becker/Getty Images
Bernie Sanders is leading the 2020 Democratic field in Nevada, according to a survey released Friday, with the Vermont senator’s campaign showing momentum ahead of the third presidential nominating contest next week.
The Nevada poll, conducted by the GOP polling firm WPA Intelligence on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and AARP Nevada, reports that 25 percent of the state’s likely Democratic caucusgoers support Sanders. Former Vice President Joe Biden comes in second place with 18 percent of respondents, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 13 percent.
Behind the three top-polling candidates are billionaire activist Tom Steyer with 11 percent; former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 10 percent; and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, also with 10 percent. Eight percent of those surveyed said they were undecided, and 5 percent favored another candidate.
The survey was conducted partly in the days after Sanders captured victory Tuesday in the New Hampshire primary, having previously won the popular vote in the Iowa caucuses last week. Buttigieg achieved the most state delegate equivalents in that first-in-the-nation contest.
Nevada’s upcoming caucuses, set to take place Feb. 22, will represent the Democratic candidates’ first true test among the Latino community and other voters of color. The White House contenders must then demonstrate strength in South Carolina’s primary on Feb. 29 among the state’s majority-black Democratic electorate.
Those two successive contests will likely determine the fate of Biden’s faltering campaign, which is counting on impressive performances in both states and contending with ascendant moderates Buttigieg and Klobuchar — who placed second and third in New Hampshire, respectively.
Then comes Super Tuesday on March 3, when more than a dozen states will hold their primaries and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg will begin competing for delegates. The next televised debate among the candidates is scheduled Feb. 19 in Las Vegas.
The Nevada Poll contacted 413 likely caucusgoers by phone from Tuesday through Thursday. The margin of error is 4.8 percentage points.