OMG—Could Bernie Sanders Be the Democratic Frontrunner?
Policy + Politics

OMG—Could Bernie Sanders Be the Democratic Frontrunner?

© Craig Lassig / Reuters

A new poll shows that enthusiasm among Democrats for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) shows no signs of waning any time soon, much to Hillary Clinton’s chagrin.

A CBS News poll, conducted with YouGuv, released on Sunday found Sanders has become the Democratic frontrunner among likely presidential voters in the crucial states of New Hampshire and Iowa.

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In the Granite State, Sanders holds a commanding 22-point lead over the former secretary of state, garnering 52 percent support to Clinton’s 30 percent. In Iowa, those who claim they will participate in the state’s first-in-the-nation caucus prefer Sanders 43 percent to 33 percent.

But Clinton easily outruns the more liberal Sanders in South Carolina, 46 percent compared to the senator’s 23 percent.

However, Sanders trumps Clinton when it comes to overall voter excitement. Seventy-eight percent of those polled express “enthusiastic support” for the self-described democratic socialist, while Clinton only received half that amount, 39 percent.

Earlier this week, Sanders said he was “stunned” by his surge in the polls and surprised that his campaign’s focus on wage inequality and other pocket-book issues had resonated so quickly with voters.

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On Sunday, he struck a more confident tone, blaming Democrats for GOP gains in the 2014-midterm elections, saying voters who make up the party’s base are “demoralized” and decided to stay home on Election Day.

Sanders vowed to reverse that trend if he becomes the Democratic standard-bearer and gets other candidates to ride his coattails.

“The Republicans did not win last November. The Democrats lost because a lot of their supporters are demoralized,” he said during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“I think we can strike an excitement in those groups of people, increase voter turnout, not only win the White House, but regain control over the Senate and do well in the House,” Sanders said.

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He sought to burnish his bipartisan credentials and pointed to his role last year as chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee in getting a multi-billion overhaul of the Veterans Affairs Department’s scandal-plagued medical network.

Sanders also took a shot at Republicans, chastising the GOP for “war talk” when it comes to the volatile security situation in Iraq and Syria.

Vice President Biden, who is still mulling a run for the Democratic presidential nomination, places third in all three states, with 10 percent in Iowa, 9 percent in New Hampshire and 22 percent in South Carolina.

The YouGov/CBS News 2016 Battleground Tracker poll was conducted Sept. 3-10 and surveyed 548 likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, 528 in South Carolina, and 646 in Iowa. The survey’s margin of error is 5 percent.