Sanders Leads Democratic Field by 13 Points in Nationwide Fox News Poll Released Days Before Super Tuesday

Senator Bernie Sanders is solidifying his position as the national frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a new poll that showing Sanders with a double-digit lead over his closest rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

A Fox News poll released Thursday showed Sanders at 31 percent, holding a 13 percent advantage over Biden's 18 percent. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg took third with 16 percent. Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg had 12 percent, while Senator Elizabeth Warren was in fifth place at 10 percent.

Biden and Sanders were virtually tied for the highest favorability ratings in the poll, with roughly half of respondents viewing the candidates favorably. The candidates rated "favorable" by the fewest number of voters were Senator Amy Klobuchar and billionaire businessman Tom Steyer. Bloomberg topped the poll when respondents were asked which Democratic candidate they deemed most "unfavorable."

The poll also shows six candidates besting President Donald Trump in hypothetical general election match-ups. Biden and Bloomberg were eight percent ahead of the president, with Sanders favored by seven percent. Smaller advantages that were within the poll's margin of error also existed for Warren, Buttigieg and Klobuchar.

Although a majority indicated they would vote for a host of Democrats over Trump, confidence that their chosen candidates would win in the general election was comparatively low. Only 36 percent believed that Trump would be defeated, with 56 percent feeling certain he would win re-election.

A random sampling of 1000 registered voters were queried for the poll, contacted on cellphones or landlines between February 23 and 26. It has a margin of error of three percent.

The poll is the first from Fox News to show Sanders in the lead, although the previous edition was conducted in January. The race has changed significantly since then, and the new poll echoes a number of other national surveys that show the Vermont senator with a clear advantage over his opponents.

Biden, the frontrunner before being overtaken by Sanders, could see fortunes improve somewhat when the South Carolina primary is held on Saturday. Recent polls in the state have shown the former vice president surging into a big lead over Sanders.

A far bigger contest will occur days later, when 14 Super Tuesday states vote on March 3. Just over a third—1,357—of all delegates will be allocated on the day. The Fox News poll indicated good news for Sanders when narrowed down to only the states competing that day. Sanders was favored by 30 percent, with Bloomberg and Biden trailing at 18 and 17 percent, respectively

Newsweek reached out to the Sanders campaign for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Senator Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a presidential campaign event in Richmond, Virginia on February 27, 2020. Zach Gibson/Getty