Sanders, Carson Gain on Iowa Frontrunners in New Poll

Deja vu all over again? It's beginning to look like 2008 for Hillary Clinton, as the latest Des Moines Register poll shows socialist Senator Bernie Sanders pulling within 7 points of the former first lady in Iowa.

Liberal revolutionary Bernie Sanders, riding an updraft of insurgent passion in Iowa, has closed to within 7 points of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race.

She's the first choice of 37 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers; he's the pick for 30 percent, according to a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll.

But Clinton has lost a third of her supporters since May, a trajectory that if sustained puts her at risk of losing again in Iowa, the initial crucible in the presidential nominating contest.

This is the first time Clinton, the former secretary of state and longtime presumptive front-runner, has dropped below the 50 percent mark in four polls conducted by the Register and Bloomberg Politics this year.

Poll results include Vice President Joe Biden as a choice, although he has not yet decided whether to join the race. Biden captures 14 percent, five months from the first-in-the-nation vote Feb. 1. Even without Biden in the mix, Clinton falls below a majority, at 43 percent.

If this poll doesn't send Democrats to the medicine cabinet for a dose of Alka Seltzer, nothing will. Hillary Clinton's campaign is close to being in free fall and the major alternative that is emerging is a 73-year-old senator from Vermont who is a hyper-liberal and avowed socialist.

If there is a better scenario for a GOP landslide, I can't think of one.

Meanwhile, Ben Carson is riding a wave of support thanks, at least partly, to his devout Christian faith.

The survey found that Carson is buoyed in Iowa by his likable public persona and his vocal Christian faith.

It said that 79 percent likely GOP caucus-goers view the retired neurosurgeon favorably, the highest score in the GOP’s entire 2016 field.

He also leads the hunt for Iowa’s evangelical demographic with 23 percent of their support.

Those numbers are similar to Mike Huckabee's numbers in 2008 when the former Arkansas governor won the Iowa caucuses. Huckabee is still extremely likeable but his support from evangelicals has fallen precipitously.

What makes the evangelical vote so important is that they make up a disproportionate share of caucus-goers. That bodes well for the retired neurosurgeon, whose surge in Iowa matches his improving position nationally.