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Dem voters increasingly say Sanders best to beat Trump: poll

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 26, 2020 - Duration: 02:50s

Dem voters increasingly say Sanders best to beat Trump: poll

A Reuters-Ipsos poll found 26% of Democrats and independents polled Feb.

17-25 said they believed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was the strongest Democrat in a head-to-head matchup with Republican President Donald Trump, compared with 20% who picked billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg and 17% who named former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Dem voters increasingly say Sanders best to beat Trump: poll

On the debate stage Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders' Democratic presidential rivals warned that nominating the self-described democratic socialist will scare off moderate voters in the general election, endangering the party's hopes of winning the White House and threatening its grip on Congress.

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at CBS News Debate in Charleston, South Carolina..

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER SOUTH BEND MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, SAYING: "I can tell you exactly how it all adds up.

It adds up to four more years of Donald Trump," But a new Reuters-Ipsos poll shows that Democratic voters increasingly favor the 78-year-old Vermont senator as his momentum rises in the race.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. INDEPENDENT SENATOR AND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BERNIE SANDERS, SAYING: "Let us go forward, let us beat Trump, let us transform this country.

Thank you very much!" More than a quarter - 26 percent - of Democratic and independent voters polled in the last week say they believe Sanders is the strongest Democrat in a head-to-head matchup with Donald Trump.

Twenty percent picked former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and seventeen percent named former Vice President Joe Biden.

It's a marked shift from just a month ago, when twenty-seven percent of respondents said Biden had the best chance of facing down Trump, versus 17 percent for Sanders.

What changed?

Sanders claimed a near win in Iowa, a narrow victory in New Hampshire, and a blowout in Nevada.

In that most recent contest, Sanders also won the support of a majority of young and Latino voters.

The Democratic primary has been so far divided between progressive candidates, such as Sanders, who advocate for public healthcare, free college and universal childcare, and so-called moderates, such as Biden, who hold to more centrist views on taxes and social welfare programs. Sanders on Tuesday night pushed back on the notion that his ideas are too radical for the U.S. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. INDEPENDENT SENATOR AND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BERNIE SANDERS, SAYING: "In one form or another they exist in countries all over the world.

Healthcare is a human right.

We have the necessity, the moral imperative, to address the existential threat of climate change.

Other countries are doing that.

We don't need more people in jail - disproportionately African-American - than any other country on earth.

Not a radical idea." And Reuters polling shows that Sanders has overtaken Biden in support among black voters nationwide for the first time.

Saturday's South Carolina primary will be the first major test of Sanders' appeal among African-American voters, who represent about 60% of that state's Democratic electorate.

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