The Washington Post reports:
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s once-commanding lead in Iowa has shrunk to just seven percentage points, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has surged in the state whose caucuses will kick off the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a poll released Saturday evening.
The Des Moines Register-Bloomberg Politics poll, considered the gold standard of Iowa surveys, found Clinton with the support of 37 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers, followed by Sanders at 30 percent.
There is little doubt that Clinton’s campaign is in trouble, and that she is inspiring Democrats.
However that does not mean she will not win the nomination. She almost certainly will. It is more about how much damage she takes along the way.
It’s not good when the most left wing Senator in the United States is only 7% behind you. In May she led him by 40%.
What is interesting is the net favourabilities (with Iowa Democrats) for the three possible contenders:
- Biden +65%
- Clinton +58%
- Sanders +67%
Obama by the way is +79%.
If you look just at those who are strongly favourable, and strongly unfavourable the net differences are:
- Obama +39%
- Biden +23%
- Clinton +18%
- Sanders +35%
Sanders supporters are more excited about him.
Sanders is also leading the polls in New Hampshire by 3%. So he could win both Iowa (1 February) and new Hampshire (9 February).
However after that it is Nevada and South Carolina, where Clinton should romp home. Sanders has little support outside a small geographic area. However the danger to Clinton is that if he wins Iowa and New Hampshire, the media attention he’ll get might move others towards him.