Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has overtaken Hillary Clinton — at least in the early voting state of New Hampshire, where he leads by seven percentage points, according to a new poll by Franklin Pierce University and the Boston Herald. This is the first time a poll has ever shown Sanders leading Clinton.
The Vermont senator is ahead of the former secretary of state by a 44% to 37% margin, the poll revealed. The survey of 442 likely Democratic voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 points.
National surveys, fundraising totals, and conventional wisdom all strongly indicate that Clinton remains the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic nomination. However, this new poll is still a snapshot of a moment in which Sanders is clearly picking up momentum among the party’s progressive voters and drawing huge crowds at his rallies as a result. Meanwhile, Clinton has been struggling, mired in controversy over emails on her personal server from her time as secretary of state — leading some to question her trustworthiness as a leader.
The latest numbers are a 180-degree turn from a Franklin Pierce/Boston Herald poll back in March, which showed Clinton leading Sanders by a 44% to 8% margin.
A loss for Clinton in New Hampshire — where she won the first-in-the-nation primary against Barack Obama in 2008 after a devastating loss in Iowa — would certainly be embarrassing. The Granite State also played a crucial role in 1992 for her husband. Despite coming under fierce criticism over extramarital activities and charges that he avoided the Vietnam draft, which led some to believe at the time that Bill Clinton's campaign was all but dead, he managed to come in second in that primary and was dubbed the “Comeback Kid.”
Meanwhile, according to the latest poll, Vice President Joe Biden pulled in 9% support. He is reportedly considering jumping into the race for the Democratic nomination. Behind Biden were former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee who each received 1% or less.