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article imageBernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton by 9 points in New Hampshire

By Megan Hamilton     Sep 7, 2015 in Politics
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has gained a respectable nine-point lead over front-runner Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, and he's picking up steam over her among Iowa voters in the Democratic presidential race, two new NBC News/Marist polls report.
In New Hampshire, Sanders is supported by 41 percent of Democratic voters, while 32 percent support Clinton, and an additional 16 percent support Vice-President Joe Biden, who is contemplating a presidential run. None of the other Democratic hopefuls receive more than one percent, NBC News reports.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Clinton's support has dropped by 10 percentage points since July, according to the poll released on Sunday. The poll comes one week after a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg politics survey showed Sanders within single digits of Iowa, which will be holding the first presidential caucuses in about five months.
Even without Biden included, Sanders would still win New Hampshire quite handily with an 11-point lead over Clinton, the poll shows, according to Business Insider.
Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets fairgoers as sh...
Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets fairgoers as she tours the Iowa State Fair on August 15, 2015 in Des Moines
Justin Sullivan, Getty/AFP/File
The poll also shows Clinton's lead in the early-voting states have shrunk, while Sanders has attracted record-setting crowds and spurred momentum with his populist, anti-establishment message.
Interestingly, in July, the position of the two top Democratic contenders was almost reversed, with Clinton garnering 42 percent to Sanders' 32 percent.
The going has been tough for Clinton in Iowa, where her support is back-sliding, down to 37 percent from 50 percent support in June, according to the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll. She currently leads by 11 points in Iowa, but that's also down from her 29-point lead in July, the NBC/Marist poll reports.
"It looks like what people call the era of inevitability is over," said Iowa pollster J. Ann Selzer in a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register press release. "[Clinton] has lost a third of the support that she had in May, so anytime you lose that much that quickly it's a wake-up call."
Even with Sanders' momentum, some pollsters and analysts caution that his staying power may wane deep into the primary, Business Insider reports. Sanders draws the majority of support from a pool of liberal voters who are mostly white. For some time, analysts have been predicting that Sanders' strength among this demographic could propel him to perform well, and perhaps even win, in Iowa and New Hampshire, where both states are dominated by white Democratic voters.
That doesn't necessarily hold true for other primary states, however. In these states the coalition of Democratic primary voters is considerably more diverse, and this may help Clinton regain her foothold. Support for Clinton among African-Americans in these states hovers consistently around 70-80 percent.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump, is ahead by seven points in Iowa, and 16 points in New Hampshire, NBC reports.
In Iowa, Trump is supported by 29 percent of potential GOP caucus-goers. Ben Carson receives 22 percent, and then there's a big cliff drop after that, with Jeb Bush receiving six percent; Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, and Scott Walker all receive five percent. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Bobby Jindal receive four percent.
There could also be a flip side to Sanders' popularity for the Clinton campaign, Business Insider notes.
Republicans have slammed national Democrats for running a campaign that, for the most part, resembles an incumbent's, and Clinton has been trying to avoid looking like she's taking her party's nomination for granted.
Writing for Business Insider, Maxwell Tani notes that campaigns often like to lower expectations in early-voting states. Every candidate hopes to claim momentum, regardless of how things actually are.
Bill Burton, a former top adviser for Obama's 2008 campaign noted: "Hillary Clinton tried out inevitability as a message, and it was not successful."
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Iowa poll was conducted from Aug. 26 to Sept. 2 among 998 registered voters. Out of that, 390 were potential GOP caucus-goers and there was a margin of error of +/- five percentage points. Another 345 were potential Democratic caucus goers-with a margin of error of +/- 5.3 points. In New Hampshire, the poll was also conducted from Aug. 26 to Sept. 2 among 9 registered voters. Out of that, 413 were potential GOP primary voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.8 points, while 356 were potential Democratic Primary voters, with a margin of error of +/-5.2 points.
You can check out the poll here.
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