Bernie Sanders may be leading Hillary Clinton with black voters in this one, very important state

According to at least one poll, Sanders leads Clinton among African-American voters in Wisconsin by 11 points

By Sophia Tesfaye
Published April 1, 2016 8:04PM (UTC)
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Bernie Sanders' campaign has difficulty attracting non-white voters. But should that be revised to had?

After suffering a series of resounding defeats across the South, primarily due to his dreadful showing with African-American voters, Sanders surprised many when in Michigan he saw his support from the community rise to 35 percent. All along, the campaign contended that once the race left the South, Sanders' support among African-American voters would improve. And it has. Sanders essentially matched his performance with African-American voters in Ohio, garnering 28 percent of the vote. But it wasn't enough, and Sanders lost the state. He either underperformed or over-performed in Illinois the same day, depending on who you ask, losing black voters to Clinton by 40 percentage points.

Now, a new poll from Public Policy Polling shows that Sanders not only matches, but surpasses his past support with black voters in Wisconsin and is actually leading rival Hillary Clinton with black voters by 11 points. Sanders earns 51 percent of the black vote in Wisconsin to 40 percent for Clinton. Sanders leads in the state overall, according to the poll, by six points.

And in New York, the former senator has seen her overall 2-t0-1 lead over Sanders all but evaporate in the final days just a 12-point lead, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll. However, while Sanders is outperforming his miserable showing with black voters in Mississippi by 300 percent with black voters in New York, African-Americans continue to buoy Clinton with 66 percent of their vote, compared to 31 percent for Sanders, while white voters are evenly split between the two -- 48 percent for Clinton and 47 percent for Sanders.

Wisconsin is set to vote next Tuesday, April 5. New York's primary is April 19.

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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