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Sanders strengthens lead nationwide, edging out Biden among black voters as Bloomberg nosedives – poll

Sanders strengthens lead nationwide, edging out Biden among black voters as Bloomberg nosedives – poll
Progressive champion Bernie Sanders has cemented his lead in the Democratic race, pulling ahead of Joe Biden in support from black voters as the candidates prepare for the South Carolina primary, according to a new poll.

Leading the other competitors by an 11-point margin, Sanders has secured a double-digit lead for the first time in the race, with 26 percent of those surveyed in a new Reuters/Ipsos poll saying they would vote for the Vermont senator. Former vice president Joe Biden and billionaire former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, meanwhile, remain tied for a distant second, each garnering 15 percent.

With Biden relying on South Carolina’s African American voting bloc in next Saturday's primary – which makes up more than half of the state’s Democratic electorate – the new poll marks a major blow for the former VP. Sanders has now secured a three-point lead over Biden among black voters nationwide, sending the Biden campaign into panic mode as it steps up its attacks on the avowed democratic socialist, seeking to harm his credibility among that key demographic.

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Confronted with his diminishing support among black voters during the 10th Democratic debate on Tuesday, Biden insisted he had “worked like the devil to earn the vote of the African American community,” vowing to “win South Carolina” with the help of its black voting bloc.

A frontrunner early on in the race, Biden has seen a rapid decline in recent weeks, walking away with dismal fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. Though he finished in second in Nevada, Sanders came out ahead with a massive lead of more 25 percent, receiving over twice the delegates.

Support for Bloomberg – a late entrant to the contest who has skipped every primary to date, choosing to focus on Super Tuesday states later in the race – has slipped by two points after a disastrous debate performance last week.

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Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren came out tied with former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg at 10 percent in the new poll, with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and billionaire activist Tom Steyer lagging behind with four and three percent, respectively.

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