Sanders catches up to Clinton, Trump runs away from field in latest poll

New national polling data released Friday shows Bernie Sanders’ 22-point thumping of Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic primary is getting attention across the country.

The first survey released post-New Hampshire by Morning Consult indicates a narrowing deficit between the prohibitive front-runner, who lost a close contest for the nomination in 2008, and the dark horse from Vermont.

The poll, conducted from Feb. 10-11 among 811 Democratic voters, tallied only a seven point lead for Mrs. Clinton, 46-39 percent.

Before New Hampshire, Clinton’s lead in the same poll stood at 13 points.

On the Republican side, Trump’s support also grew. According to Morning Consult, the Manhattan based real-estate developer saw his support jump from 38 to 44 percent nationally within the past week.

Ted Cruz finished a distant second, maintaining last week’s total of 17 percent support among GOP voters.

Critics may point to the inaccuracy of national polls, as such surveys sample a relatively small base of voters in states that have little reason to follow the race this early in the process.

However, the latest poll in Nevada, site of the next Democratic contest, shows Sanders and Clinton tied at 45 percent each.

Of note, the average of the last four national Republican polls, conducted before New Hampshire, had Trump leading Cruz by only 8.5 points, 29.5 to 21 percent.  The two front-runners were followed by Rubio with 17.8 percent, Carson with 7.8 percent, and Bush with 4.3 percent.

The conventional wisdom going into primary-season looks like it may have been flipped upside-down:  a close vote in the Nevada Democratic caucus on Feb. 20 could signal a long, drawn out race, all the way to Philadelphia in July.  Conversely, a landslide victory by Trump in South Carolina, also Feb. 20, could give him the momentum for a near sweep on Super Tuesday.

 

[The Hill] [RealClearPolitics] [Photo courtesy Getty Images]