Bernie fans rejoice! A newly released Democratic poll by Quinnipiac University has the senator from Vermont virtually tied with Hillary Clinton nationwide, with the former Secretary of State barely ahead by 2 percentage points. The results currently have Clinton at 44% and Sanders at 42%, with a margin of error 4.4%. This puts the candidates at a dead heat in the wake of the Iowa Caucus on Monday.
The poll was conducted between February 2nd and February 4th, with a sample of 434 Democrats from all over the country using both landlines and cell phones. The results show Sanders surging dramatically after the previous poll, released by Quinnipiac in December, where Clinton was ahead of the Vermont senator by 31%. He is now, needless to say, a serious contender for the Democratic nomination.
The good news doesn’t just stop here for Sanders. During the polling, Quinnipiac also conducted a series of hypothetical match-ups of both Clinton and Sanders running against some of the highest polling Republican candidates as well, and the results continue to be shocking for those in Clinton’s camp.
These match-ups indicate that Bernie Sanders is by far the most electable candidate for Democrats, which completely undermines the long-touted proclamation by Clinton and her supporters that “Bernie can’t win” in a general election against the Republicans. On the contrary! He certainly can win, and he just might be able to win even better than her.
In a match-up with Donald Trump, Sanders wins 49-39 while Clinton only wins 46-41. Against Ted Cruz, Bernie wins 46-42, while Clinton, unfortunately, ties Cruz at 45. And lastly, against Marco Rubio, Bernie ties the senator at 43 while Clinton loses 41-48. If these results are any indication, it looks like Clinton is the candidate that Democrats should be most concerned about regarding electability.
These results should undoubtedly come as a shock for the Democratic establishment, who overwhelmingly favor Hillary Clinton in terms of super delegates and endorsements. Even as recently as December, Clinton seemed like the indisputable favorite for the democratic nomination, with Bernie often termed a “long-shot” by pundits. It is still common for many of them to consider Hillary the “likely” winner even now.
But poll after poll seems to continue showing that Bernie’s political revolution is beginning to look more and more like the real deal. In just a few short months, it seems to have gone from a noble but improbable aspiration to a serious reality that is inching closer and closer to Washington’s doorstep. Sanders continues to raise an unprecedented amount of small, individual campaign contributions, surpassing records set by President Obama in both of his previous election cycles.
It remains to be known whether or not Sanders’ current standing will help him continue to perform well in the next set of state primaries to come. In New Hampshire, Sanders is polling ahead decisively against Clinton by a whopping 31 percentage points, making him highly favored to pick up his first victory in that state. In South Carolina, however, the most recent poll shows Sanders trailing Clinton by 22 percentage points in that state. It is not unlikely, however, that the momentum Sanders has gained this week could very well influence a more favorable outcome in that state as well, putting the senator closer to former Secretary Clinton than she might be anticipating at the moment.