(WDBJ) - With Super Tuesday and the Virginia presidential primary two weeks away, there are three clear Democratic favorites in Virginia, according to polling done by Monmouth University.
Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden top the field in Virginia, with the poll also indicating primary voters want a candidate who can beat President Trump and unite the country.
According to poll results, 22% of Virginia voters likely to participate in the Democratic primary March 3 support former New York City Mayor Bloomberg, with the same percent supporting US Senator Sanders of Vermont. Former Vice President Joe Biden gets 18%. No one else has more than 11%, and another 11% of likely primary voters are still undecided.
WDBJ7 Political Analyst Dr. Bob Denton said Bloomberg is starting to show in the polls because of how much time and money he has spent in Virginia. Denton said he has visited Virginia more than any other state and has seven offices with 80 people on the ground here.
“Historically, it wouldn’t be a very wise strategy because by the time of Super Tuesday, you’re down to one or two people, but not now in terms of the Democrats," Denton said. "It becomes a viable strategy going toward Super Tuesday if there’s at least three or four Democrats, you could be part of the mix. Turns out it could be a good strategy after all."
Denton said we need to pay attention to how Bloomberg performs in Wednesday's debate as it will be his first time on the stage.
“This is a pivotal point for Michael Bloomberg in the debates where he could really solidify his support especially going into Super Tuesday," Denton said. "That’s a central part of his strategy.”
Of the Democrats who are likely to vote in the primary, over half of them said they could change their mind on a candidate. Denton said the next two weeks will be critical in whether or not people change their minds.
According to Denton, historically, Virginia tends to support the mainstream candidates of the party. With Sanders showing to be tied with Bloomberg, Denton said it would be highly unusual in terms of the state's profile if he can maintain a third of the vote.
The Monmouth University telephone poll was conducted February 13 to 16, 2020 with 400 Virginia voters who say they are likely to vote in the Democratic presidential primary. According to Monmouth, the results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
Denton said we should be cautious of this margin of error.
“It has a very wide margin of error, plus or minus five which means these results could swing 10 points one way or the other, but it does give an indication of how competitive Bloomberg is," Denton said.
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