A pair of polls released by CNN on Sunday have just three Democratic presidential candidates cracking double digits in both Nevada and South Carolina: former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
In Nevada, Sanders and Biden are deadlocked at 22 percent each, followed by Warren’s 18 percent, well within the poll’s margin of error. No other candidate got higher than 5 percent.
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In South Carolina, Biden has a more comfortable lead. He has 37 percent, to Warren’s 16 percent and Sanders’ 11 percent. The next candidate got 4 percent.
The polls come after other surveys over the past week of the first two nominating states, Iowa and New Hampshire, showed Warren inching in front of Biden and Sanders far behind the top two candidates.
South Carolina has consistently been Biden’s best-polling early nominating state, as he attracts a sizable amount of support from black voters, a crucial Democratic voting bloc in the state.
Forty-five percent of black Democratic primary voters said they support Biden. Sanders got 13 percent and Warren received 4 percent. But 29 percent of white voters in the state said they support Biden, compared with 28 percent for Warren and 8 percent for Sanders.
The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 3 b and the New Hampshire primary for Feb. 11. Nevada is set to hold its caucuses on Feb. 22, with the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29, just before the Super Tuesday primaries on March 3 .
The polls, which count toward qualification for the next two Democratic presidential primary debates, also bring good news for two candidates: billionaire Tom Steyer and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
Steyer garnered 3 percent support in the South Carolina poll and 4 percent in Nevada, while Yang was at 3 percent in Nevada.
This leaves both candidates just short of qualifying for the November debate, with more than a month until qualification closes. Both have hit at least 3 percent in three polls approved by the Democratic National Committee, meaning both need just one more poll each to qualify. In addition to getting 3 percent in four DNC-approved polls, candidates also need to get donations from 165,000 unique donors, and both Steyer’s and Yang’s campaigns have said they’ve hit that threshold.
Biden, Sanders, Steyer, Warren and Yang have all qualified for the next debate, scheduled for Oct. 15, along with seven other candidates: Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke.
The DNC told campaigns on Friday that all the candidates will share one stage on Oct. 15, even if all 12 qualifying candidates participate, pending a final decision from the party committee. Qualification for the October debate closes on Tuesday, but no other candidate is expected to join them.
The Nevada poll was conducted by SSRS between Sept. 22-26 and surveyed 324 likely Democratic caucus participants, with a margin of error of plus or minus 7.1 percentage points. The South Carolina poll was conducted over the same time period and surveyed 406 likely Democratic primary voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.9 percentage points.