Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has extended her lead over Senator Bernie Sanders in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, a new poll has revealed.According to the CNN / ORC International survey, released on Monday, Clinton has an 18 - point lead over Sanders among Democratic primary voters across the United States. The former first lady has the support of 42 percent voters, while the Vermont senator is popular among 24 Democratic voters. In early September, Sanders was only 10 points behind Clinton. US Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet announced whether he will run, has captured 22 percent of the votes in the new poll. The CNN / ORC poll also showed that Clinton’s support will skyrocket if Biden decides not to join the race for the White House. Should the vice president sit out, Clinton will receive the support of 57 percent of the voters and Sanders will get the backing of 28 percent of the voters. The new poll has surprised some political analysts who were saying that Clinton’s election campaign would crash and burn, forcing Biden to jump in.Read More:Body language reveals Clinton’s anxietySanders’ emphasis on US income inequality and influence of corporate money on elections and government has helped him attract large crowds on the campaign trail. But Clinton still continues to lead her closet Democratic rival by a significant margin nationally. However, there is mounting pressure on the US Justice Department to open a criminal investigation against Clinton for mishandling sensitive government information through her private server while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Clinton has come under intense criticism for using the personal email account for government business, potentially shielding her correspondence from public inquiries.Read More:Clinton rejects classified emails“She could be indicted for treason, misprision of felony, all sorts of confidential violations of emails and information from her role at the State Department, ” Scott Bennett, a former US Army psychological warfare officer in San Francisco, told Press TV last week. “But more importantly than that all of those emails are slowly being exposed and what is being revealed is Hillary Clinton’s connection to the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Swiss bank financing the Wahabi / Salafi / terrorist regimes in the Middle East, ” Bennett stated. “Hillary Clinton was involved up to her neck in that along with Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer; so all of that is coming out, ” he noted.This report originally appeared on Press TV