Surprised Bernie Sanders Is Leading the Polls? So Is He
Policy + Politics

Surprised Bernie Sanders Is Leading the Polls? So Is He

REUTERS/Scott Morgan

Many political observers are surprised that Bernie Sanders is doing so well in the polls – including Sanders himself.

"You want me to tell you the truth? Yes, I'm stunned,” Sanders said during a Thursday afternoon interview on CNN's “The Situation Room.” “Look, we have a message that I believed from day one was going to resonate with the American people. ... Did I think [the issues] would resonate as quickly as they have? The answer is no."

A Quinnipiac University polled unveiled Thursday morning found the Vermont lawmaker had wiped out former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s long-held lead among Iowa Democrats, edging her 41 percent to 40 percent.

Related: Sanders Pulls Ahead in Iowa, but a Tougher Clinton Aims to Even the Score

These are indeed heady times for Sanders, the longest-serving independent lawmaker in congressional history. His entry into the race earlier this year sparked curiosity more than anything else among most political analysts, who were sure Clinton had the Democratic nomination locked up.

The last few months, however, have seen Sanders climb steadily in the polls. At the same time, Clinton’s candidacy has faltered amid ongoing questions about the personal email server she used while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.

Sanders has gone out of his way not to criticize Clinton, or any of his fellow Democratic hopefuls, stressing he wants to focus on issues like income inequality.

However, about Clinton’s email server, he said, “clearly it’s not helping her.”

Related: With Trump and Sanders Riding High, How Low Will Bush and Clinton Go?

Sanders trumpeted the support has encountered on the campaign trail, including a recent parade in Milford, N.H., where he said 300 to 400 people braved 94-degree heat just to join the parade.

“This is why they’re getting nervous,” Sanders said, referring to Clinton campaign aides.

He declined to speculate about Vice President Joe Biden, who the poll found had 12 percent support even though he has not announced if he will enter the 20016 race.

“I neither want him to jump in or not to jump in,” said Sanders.

He also said he “increasingly” could see himself being president of the United States.