A new Michigan poll predicts former Vice President Joe Biden will emerge victorious over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in Michigan’s Democratic primary.
Michigan is one of six states holding a primary on March 10 and offers the biggest reward with 125 pledged delegates up for grabs. Biden currently leads the delegate count with 565 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 506, and a new WDIV/Detroit News poll shows Biden could finish off his opponent next week.
According to the poll, 29 percent of respondents said they favor Biden in the state’s Democratic primary, compared to 22.5 percent who plan to vote for Sanders. Among voters who already cast absentee ballots, 33 percent said they voted for Biden and 13 percent said they voted for Sanders.
However, Michigan law allows voters who already turned in their absentee ballots to “spoil” their vote and submit a new ballot if their preferred candidate dropped out. That gives the 19 percent of voters who already voted for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg an opportunity to change their vote.
Twenty-seven percent of Democrats who responded to the poll said that President Donald Trump is the “most important issue” facing the country right now. Another 20 percent named health care as the most pressing issue.
According to WDIV’s analysis, 39 percent of respondents said “beating Trump” will play the biggest role in who they select as the Democratic nominee.
Despite Biden’s lead in the poll, 34 percent of respondents said they support Sanders’ Medicare for All plan and another 36 percent said they would like to see a public option approach to health care.
Additionally, Biden has a significantly higher favorability rating (41 percent) among African American voters in the state than Sanders (16 percent). Overall, 68.5 percent of voters said they have a favorable view of Biden, compared to 61 percent who said the same of Sanders.
The poll was conducted prior to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Thursday endorsement of Biden, which was followed by endorsements of the former vice president from two of Detroit’s most prominent newspapers.
Polls also predicted that Sanders would lose Michigan in 2016 by substantial margins, but he managed to win the Democratic primary over Hillary Clinton.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Joe Biden” by Joe Biden. Photo “Bernie Sanders” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.