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Sarah Lazare: Bernie Nabs Double-Digit Lead in NH as Women Ditch Clinton for Surging Sanders

Is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support among women crumbling?

Less than one month out from the first primary in the United States, Senator Bernie Sanders now has a 14-point edge over Clinton in New Hampshire, thanks in part to a new-found lead among the state’s women voters.

Released Tuesday by Monmouth University, the poll found that Sanders has 53 percent support in the state, compared to 39 percent backing Clinton.

Notably, the survey concludes that Sanders now has an edge over Clinton with women voters, at 50 percent to 44 percent respectively. This lead reverses Sanders’ 37 percent to 56 percent deficit among women in an identical Monmouth poll taken just two months ago.

Sanders has maintained backing from independents, new voters, and younger voters—and is now also leading among older voters in the state. Conducted from January 7 to 10 among 413 people likely to vote in New Hampshire’s February 9th Democratic primary, the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent.

“New Hampshire Democratic preferences are getting baked in, with Sanders gaining the upper hand. The final question will be who does a better job at turning out their respective voting blocs,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Meanwhile, things are also looking up for Sanders in Iowa’s February 1st Democratic caucus. A poll released Tuesday by Quinnipiac University found that, for the first time, Sanders is leading Clinton in Iowa at 49 to 44 percent. The findings show considerable improvement for Sanders, who last month was losing to Clinton 40 percent to 51 percent in the state.

Conducted January 5 through 10, the university surveyed 492 people expected to vote in Iowa’s Democratic primary and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

The Quinnipiac poll still shows Clinton leading among woman voters. But according to fresh reporting in the New York Times, “Iowa Democrats are displaying far less passion for Hillary Clinton than for Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont three weeks before the presidential caucuses.”

“Mrs. Clinton’s campaign is trying to shore up her base among female voters: Lena Dunham, the star of the HBO series ‘Girls,’ was deployed on Saturday to make a feminist pitch for Mrs. Clinton to crowds of mostly young women in Iowa City and Des Moines,” note journalists Patrick Healy and Yamiche Alcindor.

“Yet many younger women who gathered did not share Ms. Dunham’s visceral enthusiasm for Mrs. Clinton,” the Times reports, “saying that for most of their lives she has been a familiar fixture of establishment politics rather than an exciting new voice or an agent of change.”

Copyright 2016 Sarah Lazare. First published in Common Dreams. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.


Bernie Sanders shakes hands with supporters in Derry, New Hampshire. (Photo: Mary Schwalm/Reuters)

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