Biden plummets in new national poll, ceding top spot to Bernie

While former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg got a 4-point bump after appearing to narrowly edge Sanders out for first place in the Iowa state delegate count — results which Buttigieg and Sanders are both challenging — Buttigieg came in at 5th place nationally in the Quinnipiac poll, with 10 percent of the vote. Sen. Amy Klobuchar rounds out the top six with 4 percent, a drop of 3 points, while no other candidate broke 2 percent in the poll.

The Quinnipiac survey is the latest yet to show a still-fluid race in the Democratic primary, but continues a trend in which both Sanders and Bloomberg are on the rise, while Biden, once considered the prohibitive frontrunner, is losing standing.

Sanders looks likely to continue gaining momentum, heading into Tuesday’s primary as the candidate to beat in New Hampshire. Bloomberg’s steady rise, meanwhile, comes as he’s continued to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising nationally. He’s also shirked the critical spotlight of the debate stage thus far, and has been banking on mixed results for his rivals out of the first four early voting states before the Super Tuesday contests he’s staked his candidacy on.

Monday’s poll finds the former vice president with his lowest national numbers yet in a Quinnipiac poll, but his weakened stance nationally is likely not the only cause for concern for Biden’s campaign.

The survey also shows that Bloomberg is successfully eating into Biden’s popularity among black voters, a key Democratic voting bloc that had been considered the vice president’s firewall should he falter in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

While Biden is still holding onto his lead among black voters, according to the poll, his support has plummeted from 49 percent before the caucuses to 27 percent. Bloomberg, meanwhile, has rocketed into second place among black voters, with 22 percent support compared to 7 percent late last month.

The poll also brings Bloomberg one step closer toward qualifying for the next Democratic primary debate, which is on Feb. 19 in Nevada. He needs to hit at least 10 percent in two more polls by Feb. 18 to qualify. So far, Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren have qualified for the debate, according to POLITICO’s tracking of public polling and delegate allocations.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted from Feb. 5-9 among 1,519 self-identified registered voters nationwide, including 665 Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic. Results among Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Zach Montellaro contributed to this report.

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