Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened up a double-digit lead in the Democratic nominating contest, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.
Sanders has 31% support nationally, up 9 points since December, the last time the poll asked about Democratic voters’ preferences.
His next closest contender has 19%. But that second-place rival is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. With this poll, Bloomberg has qualified for the Nevada debate, despite not being on the ballot there for Saturday’s caucuses.
Many Americans have become familiar with Bloomberg lately in this race because of his ubiquitous TV ads. But now get ready to see him on the debate stage for the first time Wednesday.
Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey called the new poll result the latest evidence of a “groundswell” for the candidate.