Bernie Sanders Enters 2020 With Strong Lead in New Hampshire, Three-Way Tie for First in Iowa

Senator Bernie Sanders opened 2020 with a strong start against the Democratic presidential primary field in New Hampshire and Iowa. He is currently leading the race in New Hampshire by two points while also coming first in a three-way tie with former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg in Iowa, according to a new survey.

In the latest CBS poll, released Sunday, Sanders broke out as the front-runner in New Hampshire with 27 percent of primary voters supporting him across the state. Biden came in second with 25 percent, while Senator Elizabeth Warren, Sanders' strongest progressive opponent, trailed behind in third with 18 percent. Buttigieg followed in fourth with 13 percent.

Liberal voters have been gravitating away from Warren for Sanders since November, when she was leading the field with 31 percent. In the past month, Warren has seen a roughly 13-point decrease in support in New Hampshire.

Sanders, Biden and Buttigieg tied for first place in Iowa, with each candidate garnering 23 percent support. Meanwhile, Warren trailed behind in fourth place with 16 percent, and Senator Amy Klobuchar came in fifth with 7 percent.

Faiz Shakir, Sanders' 2020 campaign manager, told Newsweek on Sunday afternoon that the candidate's latest surge is likely the result of their consistent approach throughout the race. "Our steady and consistent approach has been producing the surge in volunteers, attendees at events, and financial resources that we had hoped for. Still a ton of work to do, however, to end up where we want to be," he said.

While some candidates have experienced fluctuations in support over the past six months, Sanders' steadily growing base has indicated their strength in backing the progressive senator. According to the CBS poll, 47 percent of those who voted for Sanders in New Hampshire said they won't change their backing of the candidate, and 65 percent of his backers have indicated they are "enthusiastic" about their support for him. Only 15 percent of Biden supporters have described their decision as definite.

Results in Iowa show a similar level of support for Sanders. Although he is tied for first, the senator lead the primary field on two fronts: 43 percent in the state say they're sure about their decision to support him, and 67 percent are enthusiastic. However, among Iowa Democrats, a majority—53 percent—still see Biden as the "safe" candidate. Buttigieg, another moderate, was voted the second safest candidate with 24 percent.

Despite Sanders' rise in the two key states, three swing-district House Democrats announced their endorsements for Biden on Sunday. Representatives Conor Lamb from Pennsylvania, Elaine Luria from Virginia and Chrissy Houlahan from Pennsylvania backed the former vice president as the best candidate to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

The surveys, conducted by YouGov between December 27, 2019 and January 3, 2020, sampled 2,000 registered voters in Iowa and 1,100 in New Hampshire. The margin of error is +/- 3.8 points in Iowa and +/- 5.3 points in New Hampshire.

Bernie Sanders
Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during the Nevada Democrats' "First in the West" event at Bellagio Resort & Casino on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David Becker/Getty