Editor’s Note: The Reuters poll in question takes into account all respondents to the poll. Narrowing down the results of the poll to only registered democrats shows Clinton holding a small lead with 46.8 percent to Sanders’s 46.3 percent. The poll also shows that 6.8 percent of registered democrats have reported they are not voting. Another filter allows you to narrow down the results to likely democratic primary voters, which shows Hillary leading with 51 percent to Bernie’s 44 percent.
The latest Reuters poll is defying the pundits’ predictions that Bernie lost ground after the five-point defeat in Nevada and shows Bernie Sanders taking the lead over Hillary Clinton by six percent nationally.
According to the data, this is not the first time that Bernie Sanders has passed Hillary Clinton this month, but it also signals a downward trend for the once heiress apparent. The Clinton camp would be hoping for a bounce after the Nevada caucus went their way, but this was not forthcoming.
In the Republican race, Donald Trump appears to have picked up former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s supporters after Bush suspended his campaign after coming fourth with just 7.8 percent of the vote in the South Carolina primary. Trump won resoundingly, picking up 50 delegates and 32.5 percent of the vote, and seemingly, the lion’s share of Jeb Bush’s supporters.
This defied many predictions, given that Trump was credited with taking Jeb Bush out for good when he was relentless on Bush and his family’s legacy in the final debate before the South Carolina Republican primary. Trump said that the Iraq War was, “a big fat mistake,” and that, “George Bush made a mistake, we can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty… We should have never been in Iraq, we have destabilized the Middle East. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction – there were none. And they knew there were none.”
It was the last nail in the coffin for the weakened Bush campaign, so it was a surprise to many that Bush voters appear to have switched their allegiance so readily to Donald Trump.
It’s only just heating up in South Carolina for the Democrats, with the primary coming up on February 27 and with the last two candidates standing — Sanders and Clinton — going head to head in a Town Hall debate today. Ever cognizant of the “black vote,” many of the questions centered around civil rights issues and how to deal with the disparity of wealth and opportunity for African-Americans. Hillary spoke about the “need to be honest” about the racial barriers that exist today. Sanders offered a more practical solution, promising to break up the commercial prison business, which would prevent making prisoners into commodities, reforming the criminal justice system, and increasing funding for historically black colleges and universities.
In some remarkably reflective moments for a political debate, Sanders fielded a question on his religious beliefs in great depth. “This is what I believe – every great religion in the world, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, essentially comes down to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you… The truth is at some level, when you hurt, when your children hurt, I hurt. I hurt. And when my kids hurt, you hurt… And I think most people around the world, whatever their religion, their color, share that belief that we are in it together as human beings! And it becomes more and more practical. If we destroy the planet because we don’t deal with climate change, trust me, we are all in it together. So we have got to work together and that is what my spirituality is about.”
The pressure is building on the 74-year-old senator, who is often portrayed as the last hope for a return to true democracy by his supporters in a David-and-Goliath like struggle.
“If I let those people down who have faith in me — that’s a scary thing when so many people have faith in you and believe you can do something,” Sanders says. “It scares me very much. If I ever let those people down, it would be a terrible, terrible thing.”
Hillary fielded many concerns about the email scandal saying she was well aware of the “drip, drip, drip” of ongoing allegations but she insists she remains unconcerned. Trump recently said that, as President, he would look to prosecute Hillary if found guilty. She said, “the facts are that every single time somebody has hurled these charges against me, which they have done, it has proved to be nothing.”
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]