Election 2020

Sanders' Camp Sees 'Very Clear Path to Victory' Over Hillary in Iowa

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Even though Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) campaign recently bemoaned their serious media deficit — his campaign tallied 81 minutes of Donald Trump coverage on ABC’s World News Tonight this year vs. 20 seconds for Bernie — they’re convinced he has fresh momentum against Hillary Clinton.

Clinton overtook Sanders by two points in New Hampshire in a Public Policy Polling survey released at the beginning of the month. A week later Sanders came roaring back in a CNN/WMUR poll with a 10-point lead over the former secretary of State. The last time Clinton led in that specific survey was June. It was also the first in that series of polls to not give Joe Biden as a candidate option.

Only 5 percent of the N.H. Democratic primary voters polled said they would not vote for Sanders under any circumstances, while 15 percent said that about Clinton.

Asked “which Democratic candidate do you think is least honest,” Clinton scored 46 percent while Sanders got 3 percent. Sixty percent said Bernie was most likable, while Hillary hit 22 percent. In September, Biden took 35 percent on this question, but was not included this time.

A new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll shows Sanders with an 80 percent favorability rating in Iowa to Clinton’s 82 percent.

Among likely Democratic caucus-goers, 48 percent pick Clinton as their first choice and 39 percent choose Sanders. The results show an upward climb for Bernie since a low of 5 percent in Iowa in January. Clinton, meanwhile, hasn’t regained her high of 57 percent in May and slipped all the way to 37 percent in August.

Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, said today that the poll shows “a very clear path to victory in Iowa.”

“With big leads among young people and voters who would be first-time caucus-goers, our job is to do all that we can to make certain that voter turnout is high among less traditional voters,” Weaver said. “Clearly we have also got to make certain that seniors in Iowa understand that no one in Congress has fought harder to defend Social Security and Medicare and that, as president, Bernie will take on the pharmaceutical industry and lower prescription drug prices.”

Among Clinton voters, 64 percent said their mind is made up while 35 percent could be persuaded to caucus elsewhere. Fifty-five percent of Sanders supporters vow to stick with Bernie.

Clinton tops Sanders in questions such as which candidate has the best temperament to be president or who would be strongest on gun control. Sanders wins 49-38 when the question is which candidate “cares the most about people like you” and trounces Hillary by 20 points when those surveyed were asked who “will fight hardest for the middle class.”

Sanders spent the weekend in Iowa and begins a two-day swing through New Hampshire today. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is still trying to make a dent in Sanders’ lead there by hitting at his gun-rights views.

“It seems that since the gun issue is out of the headlines, it is out of Senator Sanders’ priorities,” John Bivona, New Hampshire director of O’Malley for president, said today. “When Senator Sanders campaigns in New Hampshire today, he should explain to Granite Staters why he did the NRA’s bidding and voted to give gun manufacturers and dealers immunity.”