New data from Morning Consult indicate that, among African Americans who are likely to vote in the Democratic primaries, Michael Bloomberg is picking up steam. Ahead of the New Hampshire primary, former vice president Joe Biden led the field considerably among these voters, with 35 percent support. Trailing Biden among African Americans was Vermont senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), with 27 percent, followed by Bloomberg in a distant third with 16 percent.
After the New Hampshire primary — which Sanders won by a small margin over former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg, and in which Bloomberg did not participate — African-American support for Biden has dropped a bit and risen for both Sanders and Bloomberg. According to the new polling, Biden now receives 33 percent of the black vote, Sanders gets 30 percent, and Bloomberg gets 20 percent.
Here’s more from the Morning Consult analysis of these numbers: “Older black voters are more likely to support Bloomberg than younger black voters, though his standing with those voters is still well below Biden’s. Sanders, meanwhile, has a huge advantage with the youngest black voters, nearly half (47 percent) of whom back the Vermont independent.”
The same survey found that only 6 percent of Democratic-primary voters remain undecided, and when asked to choose a candidate, they split evenly between Biden, Sanders, and Bloomberg.
The shift in African-American support is notable particularly because of Biden’s poor performance in both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. One of the former vice president’s chief strengths as a leading candidate has been his consistent ability to poll well among black voters. That might change if he continues to fall behind in early contests.
Though he has remained atop the field in most surveys of voters in South Carolina, which holds its primary on February 29, his grip seems to be weakening: The most recent state-level poll shows him tied with Sanders.