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South Carolina Democratic Primary: Biden's Lead Shrinks. Sanders Closing in. Steyer in Third.

In the days following the New Hampshire primary, Joe Biden’s lead among likely voters in the South Carolina Democratic primary has dropped 9 percentage points since the last ECU Poll (which was conducted in the immediate days before the Iowa Caucus). Biden now leads with 28%, followed by Bernie Sanders (20%), Tom Steyer (14%), Pete Buttigieg (8%), Amy Klobuchar (7%), Elizabeth Warren (7%), Michael Bloomberg (6%)*, and Tulsi Gabbard (1%). The poll was conducted February 12-13, n=703, +/-4.3.

Among likely voters who are African American, Joe Biden leads Bernie Sanders 36% to 20%. Tom Steyer is third (17%), followed by Elizabeth Warren (7%), Michael Bloomberg (5%), Pete Buttigieg (4%), Tulsi Gabbard (1%), and Amy Klobuchar (1%).

Among those age 65 and over, Joe Biden (47%) leads by a wide margin over Michael Bloomberg (10%), Bernie Sanders (8%), Amy Klobuchar (8%), Tom Steyer (8%) Pete Buttigieg (8%), Elizabeth Warren (4%), and Tulsi Gabbard (1%).

 Among those under the age of 35 years, Bernie Sanders (36%) leads over Tom Steyer (21%), Elizabeth Warren (14%), Joe Biden (13%), Michael Bloomberg (7%), Pete Buttigieg (3%), Tulsi Gabbard (3%), and Amy Klobuchar (0%).

There is a generational divide among likely voters who are African American. Among those 55 years and older, Joe Biden leads with 49%, followed by Tom Steyer (9%), Michael Bloomberg (8%), Bernie Sanders (7%), Pete Buttigieg (4%), Amy Klobuchar (1%), and Tulsi Gabbard (0%). Among African Americans age 54 years and under, Bernie Sanders has a slight lead with 29%, followed by Joe Biden (26%), Tom Steyer (23%), Elizabeth Warren (10%), Pete Buttigieg (3%), Michael Bloomberg (3%), Tulsi Gabbard (1%), and Amy Klobuchar (0%).

Methodology

This poll was conducted February 12-13, 2020. The sample consisted of likely Democratic voters (n=703) in South Carolina, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 4.3 percentage points. The data were weighted by age, education, race, gender, mode, and 2016 election modeling. The results based on race and age carry with them a higher margin of error due to the smaller sample size. Data were collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=365) and an online panel provided by Lucid (n=338).


*Footnote

Michael Bloomberg is not on the ballot in South Carolina. However, he is still vying for the Democratic presidential nomination and running in third place nationally. Given that the South Carolina primary is still two weeks away, and that some voters may not be aware of his absence on the ballot, we decided to measure his level of support. For those who disagree with that decision, we have analyzed the poll results with Bloomberg excluded from the analysis. Joe Biden's lead over Sanders remains at 8 points (30% to 22%), followed by Tom Steyer (15%), Pete Buttigieg (9%), Amy Klobuchar (7%), Elizabeth Warren (7%), and Tulsi Gabbard (1%).

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Peter Francia
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