A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday had universally bad news for former Vice President Joe Biden, right as he heads into the New Hampshire primaries. Nationally, the poll found, Biden dropped into second place at 17 percent, the new frontrunner being Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), with 25 percent. Relative newcomer Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor who is significantly outspending everyone in the race, comes in third at 15 percent, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at 14 percent.
But losing his national lead isn't the worst news for Biden. After New Hampshire, where Biden has low exceptions, comes South Carolina, where Biden's strong support among African American voters was expected to keep him on top. According to the Quinnipiac poll, as Axios noted Tuesday, his black firewall is burning. Biden's support among black Democrats dropped to 27 percent in the new poll, from 51 percent in December. And it appears that much of that support shifted to Bloomberg, who jumped to 22 percent support among black voters, followed by Sanders (19 percent), Warren (8 percent), and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (4 percent). All the Democrats beat President Trump in head-to-head matchups, but Bloomberg's 51-42 percent margin of victory was the largest.
Oddsmakers now have Bloomberg in second place for the Democratic nomination, after Sanders, Axios reports.
The sample size of black voters in the poll probably wasn't very large, though. Quinnipiac conducted its poll Feb. 5-9 among 1,519 registered voters, 665 of whom are Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. It has an overall margin of error of ±2.5 percentage points and a ±3.8 point margin of error for the Democrats and Democratic leaners.