Bernie Sanders Has Leaped to the Top of 2020 Democratic Polls Over The Past Month

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has spiked back up in local and nationwide polls of the Democratic presidential candidates, re-establishing himself as a top frontrunner alongside former Vice President Joe Biden.

Compilations of January and end-of-year polls conducted among general election and Democratic primary voters show Sanders has jumped about 5 percentage points since early December. As Real Clear Politics' compilation of polls shows, Sanders started out in early 2019 as the clear second-place candidate behind Biden before briefly plunging below Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California. Harris has since dropped out of the race. But Sanders has climbed more than 5 percentage points and Warren has stagnated from one month ago on December 7.

Despite a Morning Consult poll released Tuesday showing Biden as the clear favorite in a head-to-head matchup with Trump, it is Sanders who has spiked up to the top of several recent voter surveys. That same poll also shows Sanders defeating Trump and corroborates Emerson and CNN polls showing the Vermont senator with some of the widest margins of victory in hypothetical general election match-ups.

Emerson Polling data released Tuesday found Sanders leads Trump by an overwhelming 18 percentage points in New Mexico, with his closest competitor being Buttigieg with only a 10 percent advantage over the president. Sanders also holds a 16-point lead over Trump in California, according to CNN polling.

The ongoing week-to-week Real Clear Politics "poll average" of all 2020 Democratic nomination surveys places Sanders in second place behind Biden. He sits about 9 percentage points behind the former vice president, 29.7 to 20.2, as of Tuesday. But unlike several polls in New Hampshire and nationally showing a three-way tie between Biden, Sanders and Buttigieg, the Real Clear Politics compilation shows Sanders and Biden clearly ahead of the rest.

The widest gap between Sanders and Biden was in May when Biden held a commanding 41 percentage points of nationwide support in polls, while Sanders had sunk to about 14 percent.

The Emerson College survey in New Mexico released Tuesday found Sanders ahead of Biden by a single percentage point. Additionally, Andrew Yang pushed several other top-tier Democrats behind him as he climbed to third in that poll released Tuesday. In hypothetical head-to-head match-ups, Trump trailed behind each of the Sanders, Biden, Warren and Buttigieg campaigns.

A CBS News poll released Sunday continued the deluge of positive Sanders polls to kick off 2020, showing that the senator has emerged as the clear frontrunner with 27 percent of support to Biden's 25 percent. Similarly, an Iowa poll found Sanders, Biden and Buttigieg all tied for first place in the kickoff primary caucus state.

Amid the increasingly binary choice of frontrunners, Sanders and Biden have taken several shots at each other in recent weeks over their respective U.S. Senate voting records. Sanders has honed in on Biden's votes in favor of the Iraq War as well as his support of NAFTA and other "terrible" deals. Meanwhile, Biden has attempted to dismiss Sanders as "too left" to win a general election against Trump in November.

Several CNN and Quinnipiac polls in states including California have interchanged Warren and Buttigieg rounding out the trio of frontrunners, but nearly all of the data shows each of the candidates defeating Trump in hypothetical one-on-one matchups.

The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment Tuesday afternoon.

bernie sanders frontrunner 2020 polls
Bernie Sanders has spiked back up in local and nationwide polls to share the top spot of the Democratic presidential pack alongside fellow front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden. JOSH EDELSON/ AFP/Getty Images