Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE (D) remains the leader of the Democratic field in South Carolina, but faces a strong showing by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), who is close on his heels in in the state, according to a new UMass Lowell poll.
Sanders sits just 2 percentage points behind Biden in the survey of likely primary voters, with 21 percent and 23 percent of respondents indicating their support for Sanders and Biden, respectively. They both sit comfortably ahead of the third-place contender, billionaire Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE, who has garnered 13 percent support in the poll.
Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D) were tied behind Steyer at 11 percent in the poll, while no other candidates registered double-digit levels of support in the survey.
South Carolina represents a major test for candidates among voters of color, as black voters make up 60 percent of the electorate in the state — a major shift from previous contests in the majority white states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Biden leads among black likely voters in the poll with 43 percent, while Sanders polls at 20 percent. Of note is improvement for Buttigieg, who received support from 16 percent of black respondents. Buttigieg has struggled to garner support from the African American voting bloc in the past.
“[O]ur poll has this as a close race, with Biden only ahead by 2 points and Sanders inside the margin of error. With just 10 days to go, Biden needs to hold this lead and prove he can win if he wants to make a play on Super Tuesday,” said poll director Jonathan Dyck in a statement.
The UMass Lowell poll was conducted between Feb. 12-18, with a pool of 400 likely South Carolina primary voters. The margin of error is 7.5 percentage points.
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