Shocker for Hillary as US states ‘feel the Bern’

15 Sep 2015


Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats are 'feeling the Bern' and Hillary Clinton is fading into his rear-view mirror, judging from a shocking poll released Sunday morning.

Vermont Senator Bernie SandersClinton, the former secretary of state who some expected would waltz into next year's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia wearing coronation robes, is 20 percentage points behind Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire.

But even in Iowa, where Clinton has worked overtime to cast herself as an everywoman who would be the champion of 'ordinary Americans,' Sanders now leads her by 10 points.

The CBS News/YouGov poll's 43-33 Iowa showing, and its more stunning 52-30 result in New Hampshire, point to a reality that Clinton's campaign may not like: She's losing her grip on her status as the 'inevitable' winner.

Hillary still leads in South Carolina by a sizable 46-23 margin, but that could change as Sanders spends more time in the Palmetto State. He has already put in more days campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire than Clinton has.

Maryland's former governor Martin O'Malley, himself a long-shot Democratic candidate for the presidency, quipped in March that in most election cycles, 'there's the "inevitable" front-runner and that inevitable front-runner is inevitable right up until he or she is no longer inevitable.'

It's Sanders, though, and not O'Malley, who has benefited from Clinton's tumble as she grapples with ethical and legal issues related to classified material found among emails she kept on a personal server at her home while she ran the State Department.

But the Vermont senator's rise isn't necessarily a singular reaction to Clinton's scandal.

The CBS/YouGov poll found that three-quarters of Democratic voters across New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina said what has become known as 'server-gate' would ultimately have no bearing on their selection of a nominee in the primaries.

Sanders' poll vault, whether a temporary bump or a sign of a long-term trend, appears more related to his anti-capitalist policies.

In New Hampshire, almost half of his Democratic supporters told pollsters that a Hillary Clinton administration would generate policies too favorable to the rich.

Among Republicans, billionaire Donald Trump still holds leads in all three states – although his margin over retired neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson has shrunk to just four points in Iowa, 29-25.

When GOP voters' first and second choices are combined, Carson now has a surprising 7-point edge there.

In the Republican primary fight, too, a candidate once considered a presumptive default winner is now sucking wind.

Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and a brother and son to two former presidents, is averaging less than 5 per cent support across the three states YouGov polled for CBS.

In Iowa, his poor showing has him in eighth place as Wednesday's primary debate looms in California.

The CBS/YouGov tracking poll includes input only from people who have voted in previous primary elections or caucuses. The sample includes more than 3,500 likely voters in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa.


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