Bernie Sanders’ rapid rise in the latest poll of likely primary voters is casting Hillary Clinton’s alleged inevitability into serious doubt.
What started as a little spark in the greater American political spectrum is now growing into a full-fledged wildfire, as indicated by the most recent poll data from NBC, The Wall Street Journal, and Marist.
With a mere three-point advantage over Sanders in Iowa, establishment favorite Hillary Clinton is sure to face a run for her money in the first primaries, with Iowa and New Hampshire voters going to the polls in three weeks.
But it is in New Hampshire, currently, where the heat behind the Sanders campaign is really starting to warm America up to a possible Sanders presidency, where the democratic socialist candidate polls at a anywhere from a four-point (50-46, NBC/WSJ/Marist) to thirteen-point advantage (50-37, Fox News) over Clinton. Sanders has also maintained a healthy lead in NH across several polls for the past two months.
But how might all this early polling play out in the general election? Well, according to these same surveys, Sanders’ campaign would be further bolstered by a swarm of Independent voters across the country. Clinton, however, though surely supported by some Independents, doesn’t carry the same passionate fire in that category as Sanders does, considering how much of his political career Sanders has identified as an Independent himself. Consequently, Sanders shows further advantage in both Iowa and New Hampshire for that very reason.
Sanders today even went so far as to echo the words of his supporters today, saying that he is “more electable” than Clinton in a general election, citing polls that compare his thirteen point lead over Trump against Clinton’s seven. Meanwhile, Clinton boasts in a new ad in Iowa that she is the “only one” who can win in an attempt to scare Democratic voters with the spectre of the Republican nominee. Sanders also pointed out that major news networks have covered and reported on Trump 23 times as much as on his own campaign.
Former Maryland governor Martin “Please Don’t Forget Me” O’Malley is joining the honorable mentions, polling at roughly 5 percent in Iowa. His following, however, is still large enough to earn him a spot in the next round of presidential debates.
As for the conservatives in New Hampshire, Chris Christie, believe it or not, is doing better than several of his Republican rivals, coming in at 12 percent, whereas Cruz shows 10 percent, followed by Jeb Bush and Gov. John Kasich with 9 percent. Christie is crossing his fingers that New Hampshire is the state that puts his presidential campaign back on the map.
The most recent poll on the Republican side shows Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) is holding down 28 percent in Iowa, followed by Donald Trump at 24 percent. As close as Trump is to Cruz, too, it’s important to keep in mind that he is trailed by Sen. Marco Rubio after a sizeable 16-point difference in New Hampshire. Rubio is currently polling at 13 percent in Iowa, followed by Ben Carson at 11. The rest merely received honorable mentions, hovering around 5 percent or worse.
These recent numbers result from surveys collected Jan. 2 to Jan. 7, with a plus or minus 5 percent margin of error after polling 456 Iowa caucus-or-bust Republicans. The same goes for the 422 polled on the left.
In New Hampshire, the margin of error for the 569 Republicans polled comes in at 4 percent and 5 percent for the 425 Democrats polled.
Who wins the nomination for the general election still very much depends on which way the wind blows over the next several months.