Bernie Sanders is riding a wave of popularity after drawing record crowds throughout August, and his recent success on the campaign trail on the west coast has translated into some very good news back east. In New Hampshire, a state that Hillary Clinton carried over Barack Obama in the 2008 primary, the Vermont senator has surged past the once-inevitable Democratic nominee.
According to a poll released this morning from Franklin Pierce University and the Boston Herald, Sanders now leads Clinton 44-37 in New Hampshire. Sanders trailed Clinton 44-8 in the same poll back in March, so the turnaround for Sanders in just five months is quite remarkable.
The Granite State hosts the second contest in the presidential nominating season, following the Iowa Caucuses. The New Hampshire primary will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.
The poll was conducted among 442 likely Democratic primary voters between August 7 and August 10. The margin of error in the poll was plus or minus 4.7 percent.
Sanders pulling ahead of Clinton in the poll marks the first time that Hillary has trailed any of her Democratic rivals in the campaign for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.
Vice President Joe Biden received nine percent support in the New Hampshire poll, and fellow Democrats Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb received one percent or less in the poll.
Vermont senator Sanders has spent much of August on the west coast, drawing record crowds to events in California, Washington, and Oregon, despite very little coverage of these events by the mainstream media. The Washington Post reports that more than 100,000 people have attended Bernie Sanders events in August.
According to Bernie’s Facebook page, the senator recently drew a crowd of 28,000 in Portland, 27,500 in Los Angeles, and 15,000 in Seattle.
Despite Sanders’ success in the New Hampshire poll, 65 percent of the respondents also said that they expect Hillary Clinton to win the party’s nomination.
The poll also shows that New Hampshire Democrats are lukewarm to the Clinton campaign, with just 35 percent of respondents declaring they are excited about Clinton’s candidacy. Conversely, 51 percent of respondent’s in the poll declared that they “are not enthusiastic” about Hillary Clinton, despite the fact that they also said they would support her in the general election.
More than 50 percent of the New Hampshire poll respondents said that they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders, while 38 percent said that they have a “very favorable” view of Hillary Clinton.
[Image via Charlie Leight / Getty Images]