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.
Clinton, 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.
Sanders has a natural advantage in the Granite State, which adjoins his home state of Vermont.
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.
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