New polls show promise for Sanders, vulnerabilities for Clinton

A series of recent polls show Senator Bernie Sanders leading or within the margin of error in two early-voting states.

The CBS News/YouGov polls, released on Monday, show Sanders ahead of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by 7 points, a lead that has been reflected consistently in many other recent polls.

Although he trails the former Secretary of State by just 6 points in Iowa, that puts Sanders within the survey’s 7.6 per cent margin of error.

Polls from October had Clinton ahead there by as much as 32 points, so clearly Sanders is closing the gap and firming up support since then.

However, Sanders faces an uphill battle in South Carolina, where he currently trails Secretary Clinton by 47 points, an improvement on the 54-point margin shown by a PPP poll earlier this month. The margin of error on that poll was 8.7 per cent.

In the wake of the Paris attacks and an increased focus on foreign policy matters, Clinton is viewed by eight in 10 Democrats as ready to be commander-in-chief in these early states. A smaller percentage, but still a majority, thinks Sanders is ready, but fewer say that of Martin O’Malley. Many don’t know enough about O’Malley to say.

Eighty-four percent in Iowa say Clinton is ready and 60 percent say so about Sanders. In New Hampshire, where Sanders leads, 83 percent say Clinton is ready and 69 percent feel Sanders is ready.

Despite leading in two of the three early states, there are some vulnerabilities for Clinton. In both Iowa and New Hampshire, Democrats see Sanders as more of a change candidate; they are more likely to think Sanders would bring “big change” to the country.

Also, Clinton has been criticized as being too close to Wall Street. In Iowa and New Hampshire, her policies are viewed as being too easy on Wall Street, while Sanders’ policies New Hampshire are seen as about right. Fifty-three percent in Iowa feel her policies might be too easy, and forty-four percent say they’ll be about right. Seven in ten feel Sanders’ policies would be right, in their view.

Meanwhile, Democratic voters are being asked to contribute to an effort in New Jersey, where Sanders supporters hope to recruit candidates for local office to join the Vermont Senator on the primary election ballot.

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