Fox News Poll: Biden and Sanders vie for lead in Nevada, Biden tops Trump

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders remain the top picks for the Democratic nomination among Nevada caucusgoers, while Elizabeth Warren fades and Tom Steyer gains momentum. In the general election contest, the latest Fox News Poll of Nevada voters shows Democrats besting President Trump -- but only Biden has a lead outside the poll’s margin of error.

First, in the race for the Democratic nomination, Biden tops Sanders by 23-17 percent among Democratic caucusgoers, with both down one percentage point since November. Warren comes in at 12 percent, down from 18 percent -- and ties with Tom Steyer for third. Steyer’s 12 percent is up from 5 percent two months ago.

Expect more shifts, as just over half of Nevada Democrats, 51 percent, say they could change their mind before the February 22 caucus.

The groups where Warren saw some of her biggest erosion include women, non-college degree whites, and political liberals.

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Support for Steyer is up across the board, with some of his biggest gains among nonwhites, voters with a college degree, and moderates/conservatives.

White caucusgoers prefer Biden (22 percent), over Warren (14 percent), Sanders (13 percent), and Steyer (11 percent).

Among Hispanics, Biden (24 percent) and Sanders (24 percent) outperform Steyer (12 percent) and Warren (11 percent).

Biden’s best group is voters over age 65, while for Sanders it’s those under 30, for Warren it’s liberals, and moderates for Steyer.

By a 51-39 percent margin, caucusgoers prefer a candidate who will fundamentally change how the political system works in Washington over one who will restore the system to how it was pre-Trump administration.

Biden is the clear favorite among voters wanting to restore the system, while those preferring change give Sanders a slight edge, although their support divides between the top four.

“The fact that Nevada Democrats have a clear preference for fundamental change could make it difficult for Biden to grow his support as we get closer to caucus day and decision time approaches,” says Chris Anderson, a Democratic pollster who conducts the Fox News Poll with Republican Daron Shaw.

In potential matchups among all Nevada voters, Biden leads Trump by 8 points (47-39 percent) and has the only lead outside the poll’s margin of error. Sanders is up by five over Trump (46-41), and both Warren (43-42) and Pete Buttigieg (41-40) top him by one point. In each case, there are enough undecided/third-party voters to shift the race either way.

“The days of Nevada as a linchpin of Mountain West conservatism are gone,” says Shaw. “But it’s still a state that can go either way. Trump is essentially running even among the 53 percent of voters who are extremely interested in the race; that indicates the race is very tight.”

In 2016, Hillary Clinton edged Trump by 48-46 percent to win Nevada.

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The poll finds 45 percent of Nevada voters approve of Trump’s job performance, while 53 percent disapprove.

In addition, they split on impeachment, as 46 percent think the Senate should remove him from office, while 47 percent disagree.

Sixty-two percent of Nevadans favor expanding Medicare so every American can buy into it if they want. That’s far more than the 36 percent who favor ending private insurance and moving to a government-run health care system.

Among Democratic caucusgoers, 77 percent favor expanding Medicare and 50 percent support moving to a single-payer system.

Conducted January 5-8, 2020 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,505 Nevada voters who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. Interviews were offered in English and Spanish. Respondents were randomly selected from a statewide voter file, and 635 were screened to identify potential participants in the Democratic caucus. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all registered voters and plus or minus 4 points for Democratic caucusgoers.