Sanders gains in poll as he pauses campaigning for impeachment

Democratic 2020 US presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders speaking during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan 20, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Mr Bernie Sanders jumped seven percentage points in a new CNN poll and now is neck-and-neck with Mr Joe Biden to lead the Democrats vying for the party's presidential nomination.

Among registered Democrats, 27 per cent said they are most likely to back the Vermont senator, an increase from a month ago, according to the poll conducted Jan 16-19 and released on Wednesday (Jan 22).

Former vice-president Biden came in second with 24 per cent of respondents, although the difference is within the poll's margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.4 percentage points, meaning there is no clear leader.

Mr Sanders and Mr Biden were followed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, who like Mr Sanders has left the campaign trail and returned to Washington for the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Ms Warren had 14 per cent and was followed by former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with 11 per cent.

About 5 per cent of the poll respondents said they were likely to support Mr Michael Bloomberg, a figure that is unchanged from the previous month.

Mr Bloomberg is is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

The poll did find a significant advantage for Mr Biden - about 45 per cent of those surveyed said he has the best chance of beating Mr Trump, with only 24 per cent saying the same for Mr Sanders.

The other candidates ranked in the single digits.

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