Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has surged from a nearly 20-point deficit in Iowa to overtake Hillary Clinton in the early caucus state.
The new Qunnipiac poll gives Sanders 41 percent of likely Dem caucus participants, slightly edging out Clinton at 40 percent. Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet announced his plans, picks up 12 percent.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is fighting the DNC on its sparse debate schedule, comes in at 3 percent.
In July, the Quinnipiac poll showed Hillary getting 52 percent support to 33 percent for Bernie.
“The more people in Iowa get to know about Bernie the more they like him and what he stands for,” said Stephanie Schwinn, Bremer County Democratic chair, in a statement released by the Sanders’ campaign. “His ideas for rebuilding the American middle class and taking on the billionaire class are resonating here in Iowa and across the country.”
Eighty-six percent in the poll said Bernie was honest and trustworthy, and 85 percent felt he cares. Only 64 percent said Hillary is honest and 78 percent felt she cares.
The candidate to score highest on the honesty and caring scales was Biden.
Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said Sanders “has become the Eugene McCarthy of 2016.”
“He is the candidate of the Democratic left, against his own party’s bosses and their prized presidential candidate, Secretary Hillary Clinton,” Brown said. “Sanders has seized the momentum by offering a message more in line with disproportionately liberal primary and caucus voters.”
“But unlike the late Sen. McCarthy, who came on strong just before the 1968 primaries, Sen. Sanders has seized the momentum, five months before voting begins in Iowa. History will eventually tell us whether he has made such a large move too soon.”