Bernie Sanders surging in New Hampshire: poll

MANCHESTER, N.H. – A new poll indicates that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is surging in New Hampshire with less than three weeks to go until the state holds the first primary in the presidential nominating calendar.

The independent and populist lawmaker who’s making his second straight bid for the Democratic presidential nomination stands at 29 percent support among likely Democratic primary voters in the Granite State, according to a MassINC Polling Group survey for WBUR that was released on Thursday. Sanders has nearly doubled his support from the previous WBUR poll conducted in December, when Sanders stood at 15 percent.

NEARLY A QUARTER STILL UNDECIDED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE THREE WEEKS BEFORE PRIMARY DAY

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg comes in at 17 percent, basically unchanged from December, with former Vice President Joe Biden at 14 percent, down 3 percentage points from last month. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts stands at 13 percent, also basically unchanged from December.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota stands at 6 percent, with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang each at 5 percent, and billionaire environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer at 2 percent.  No other candidate tested topped 1 percent.

“I wouldn't take these numbers to the bank," MassINC Polling Group President Steve Koczela said. "But you've got to be feeling pretty good about where you stand right at this moment if you're the Sanders campaign."

According to the poll, the 78-year-old Sanders is backed by 52 percent of likely Democratic primary voters under the age of 30.

His favorable rating has also soared over the past month, from 60 percent in December to 74 percent now. Klobuchar has also seen her favorable rating jump 14 percentage points, with Yang’s favorable rating skyrocketing 16 points. Steyer and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg – who’s not actively campaigning in New Hampshire – also enjoyed double-digit jumps in their favorable ratings.

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The new poll widely varies with a survey released Wednesday by Suffolk University for the Boston Globe. That poll indicates a much closer contest in New Hampshire, with Sanders at 16 percent, Biden at 15 percent, Buttigieg at 12 percent, and Warren at 10 percent.

A massive 24 percent in the Boston Globe poll said they were undecided. Only 5 percent in the WBUR survey said they were unsure.

The MassINC poll for WBUR was conducted Jan. 17-21, with 426 likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Sanders, who leads the race for campaign cash among his 2020 Democratic rivals, has also seen his poll numbers in New Hampshire, Iowa, and nationally, rise the past two months.