2016 Democratic challenger and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had his best showing yet in a 2016 poll, nabbing 32% of New Hampshire Democrats in a Morning Consult poll released Sunday, to Clinton’s 44%. Sanders recently took 41% in a less formal Wisconsin straw poll.
Sanders has been focusing on Iowa of late, where he trails frontrunner Hillary Clinton by a wide margin. But New Hampshire is Sanders’ home region, and a primary victory there would both boost his campaign prospects and damage Clinton’s inevitability narrative. New Hampshire was also the state that revived Clinton’s 2008 campaign after then-candidate Barack Obama pulled an upset in Iowa.
The poll is also a potential outlier: Real Clear Politics has Sanders averaging 13.8% in the Granite State. However, Sanders has also seen unexpected enthusiasm since his campaign’s modest launch, and he may also have benefited from the acceptance that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a potential rival for the progressive vote, is really, truly not running.
The independent from Vermont still lags significantly behind Clinton in Iowa and South Carolina, and comes in third after Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet announced, in South Carolina.
All the usual poll caveats apply, especially the margin of error, which is six points in this one. Also, no one votes for months and months.
[h/t Morning Consult]
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