Hillary Clinton Polls: Clinton Starting To Pull Away From Bernie Sanders, Cements Status As Frontrunner

Hillary Clinton is making a big jump in the polls, crossing the 50 percent threshold and appearing to stop the momentum from challenger Bernie Sanders.

Clinton has long been seen as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, and even considered something of a shoe-in for the nod. But, within the last few months, the Vermont senator has steadily built support, chipping away at her lead in the polls and amassing a large and very active base of supporters.

Now it appears Hillary Clinton is putting a stop to that momentum. A new poll from NBC News finds that she had 50 percent support among Democratic voters, growing her lead after challengers Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee dropped out of the race and with Vice President Joe Biden officially ruling out a run.

As NBC News pointed out, Hillary Clinton took the biggest jump in the poll, and appears to be pulling away from Biden.

“With Biden no longer asked about, Clinton’s numbers have inched higher, pushing her back to the 50 percent mark among voters who are Democratic or lean Democratic, for the first time since we began polling on the primary race back in April. But Sanders continues to hold onto a solid segment of the Democratic electorate, getting the backing of 30 percent leaned Democratic voters. Martin O’Malley and Larry Lessig, with just 1 percent support, have not been able to make a dent in their levels of support.”

The polls also show that Hillary Clinton came out unscathed from the marathon Benghazi hearing, which many in the Democratic Party saw as a politically motivated attack against Clinton rather than a true attempt to determine what went wrong during the 2012 terrorist attack.

Hillary Clinton fared even better in other polls. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday showed even higher support for the former Secretary of State. In the poll, Clinton reached 53 percent support, opening up a 20-point lead over Bernie Sanders who registered 33 percent support.

Clinton appears to be pulling away at a time when the Republican race is growing even closer. Donald Trump, who has been seen as the frontrunner for several weeks dating back to the summer, has seen his lead over Ben Carson dwindle. The Reuters/Ipsos poll this week found that Trump had 29 percent support while Carson had 27 support, within the poll’s margin of error.

While she is rising in the polls and cementing her status as the likely candidate, Hillary Clinton has also come under new attacks. Aside from the near constant attention from the Republican Party, Clinton is also a target for the Black Lives Matter movement, with protesters interrupting a speech on Friday at a historically black university in Atlanta.

The protesters drowned out Clinton’s speech, even as others cheered for Clinton and chanted, “Let her talk, Let her talk.” The group #AUCShutItDown, which is affiliated with Black Lives Matter, later released a statement saying they aimed to press Clinton to address issues facing African-Americans, especially related to police procedures.

“Unfortunately, rhetoric DOES NOT save us, nor does it give confidence to black voters that we can trust Hillary to prioritize the necessity of ensuring our safety,” the group said (via CNN.com). “We’ve been waiting for weeks to see the platform that addresses these issues from Hillary Clinton’s campaign. We will wait no more.”

Even amid the attacks, Hillary Clinton appears to be building her support both in polls and among voters in key early voting states of New Hampshire and Iowa. While Bernie Sanders once made strong showings in the polls in these states, reports indicate that Clinton is gaining momentum both in the form of appearances and key endorsements, and could soon be pulling away.

[Picture by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]

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