Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the top-tier candidates in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination in New Hampshire, according to a new poll from Boston’s Emerson College.
The poll shows Sanders with 23 percent support, 5 percentage points ahead of former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden are tied at 14 percent each, while Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar received 10 percent.
The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11, eight days after the Iowa caucuses kick off the 2020 election season.
The Democratic National Committee has also announced the criteria candidates must meet to qualify for the Feb. 7 debate in New Hampshire, in which the Iowa caucuses will play a role.
The fundraising and polling thresholds remain the same as the recent Iowa debate, but candidates can also qualify by winning a single delegate in the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses.
Candidates who have already qualified are the same as those who were on stage in Iowa – Sanders, Warren, Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and businessman Tom Steyer.
The polling standards call for candidates to receive at least 5 percent support in four certified polls that are national or in New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina or at least 7 percent support in two polls among those three states. Candidates must also have at least 225,000 individual donors, including 1,000 or more from at least 20 different states.
The delegate threshold could help, for example, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has met the polling numbers but is self-funding his campaign and is not soliciting donations.
A CNN/Des Moines Register poll from two weeks ago showed Sanders also leading in Iowa. That survey showed Sanders leading with 20 percent support, 2 percentage points ahead of Warren. Buttigieg and Biden were at 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
A different New Hampshire poll released two weeks ago, however, painted a different picture. Monmouth University said its survey showed Sanders in fourth place with 15 percent support. Buttigieg was in the lead at 20 percent, followed by Biden at 19 percent and Warren at 18 percent.
Emerson said its polling found that 53 percent of likely New Hampshire Democratic voters could change their minds before the primary. Emerson also said 44 percent said they think Biden will be the nominee, regardless of who they are voting for, compared to 20 percent who said Sanders.