Bernie Sanders within striking distance in New Hampshire

Two new polls of New Hampshire Democrats show Bernie Sanders surging against Hillary Clinton.

In the first poll, conducted by Morning Consult, Sanders trails Clinton 44-32 among registered voters; in the second, conducted by Suffolk University, he trails 41-31 among likely Democratic primary voters.

What’s more, the Suffolk poll puts Clinton’s lead among likely voters who “know both” of the candidates at a mere three points — with her lead standing at 38-35 — suggesting that Sanders has room for improvement as a greater share of the electorate becomes familiar with him.

As Suffolk noted in their press release:

“This signals that Clinton is leading because more voters have never heard of Sanders,” said [Suffolk University Researcher David] Paleologos. “Perhaps the most telling statistic is political philosophy.” Clinton led Sanders among self-identified moderates 46 percent to 26 percent, but among those identifying as liberal, the race is tied at 39 percent.

Bernie Sanders, via AFGE / Flickr

Bernie Sanders, via AFGE / Flickr

Furthermore, when Suffolk asked respondents who weren’t supporting Clinton why that was the case, almost as many stated a positive preference for Sanders (10%) as expressed a negative distrust of Clinton (12%). In other words, support for Sanders is more than a mere protest against Clinton; people who are familiar with Sanders like what he has to say. A lot.

While polls in other early primary states show Clinton with a clear and commanding lead, Sanders has maintained for weeks that he is going to win New Hampshire, his home state of Vermont’s next-door neighbor. These series of polls show that, with more than six months left until the primary takes place, he has plenty of time to close the gap and prove himself right.

While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that two polls from one state in early June make for a plausible path to victory, this does suggest that there is an opening for Sanders to turn this Democratic primary into a real race. The less Hillary Clinton says on issues progressives care about, and the more Bernie keeps being Bernie, the more momentum we’ll see him pick up.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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24 Responses to “Bernie Sanders within striking distance in New Hampshire”

  1. hidflect says:

    Americans react to socialism like it means the Commissar will come banging on your door at 2AM in the morning to take away your flat screen TV for redistribution to more worthy comrads. Socializing certain select services into a common pool saves everybody money by efficiencies of scale. You already have it with things like police and firemen.

  2. Indigo says:

    You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what American political discourse discusses.Neither France, Norway, Finland, nor Germany are part of the United States. Thank you for your input.

  3. postmodernpooh says:

    Time to try something like Bernie. I will vote for him

  4. RyansTake says:

    You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what “Democratic Socialism” means.

    It means France, Norway, Finland or Germany. Social Democrats are the leaning-right parties in most of these governments, for heaven’s sake.

    His policies aren’t radical, they’re quite mainstream, even in America.

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  6. Bill_Perdue says:

    Socialism is workers ownership and control of the economy. That’s always been why the left supports it and the right hates it. It doesn’t mean a welfare capitalist state or an imperial warfare state.

    Sanders is pro-capitalist. If he wins the nomination he’ll be another Obama, and Obama has been a disaster for working people and unions, the Bill or Rights and the creation of a police state, prospects for world peace and for the further degradation of the environment, just to name a few.

  7. Indigo says:

    I like Bernie Sanders well enough. His ideas resonate well with my private opinions. I wish him well. I also wish he hadn’t entered the primary race because he’s wasting financial resources. He’s not going to win the nomination, that’s a virtual certainty. And the conversation he inspires doesn’t display the leading virtue of traditional American politics, the willingness to compromise. The failure of compromise has landed us in our current dilemma, we don’t need to perpetuate that with further diatribes about pseudo-socialism from the yintellegenzia democratika. But there’s no need to call for him to step aside, process will set him aside by mid-July. And if my prophetic thoughts do not materialize, no fear, a Bernie Sanders on the 2016 ticket will make Adlai Stevenson’s futile run against Eisenhower look like a close call. (It wasn’t.) Nominating Bernie Sanders is the kind of gift only Donald Trump will appreciate.

  8. Bill_Perdue says:

    That works as well.

  9. nicho says:

    In December of 2003, Howard Dean was the “unbeatable front runner.” Then, the corporatist media leveled their guns and opened fire with the most brutal barrage since the invasion of Poland in 1939. Three weeks later, he was deemed “unelectable.”

  10. nicho says:

    Not so much stalking horse as sheepdog. His role is to herd the progressives and disaffected dems and indies back onto the ranch — until the Hillary Juggernaut pulls the string and urges all his charges to vote for Hillary to prevent (insert name of scary GOP person) from becoming president.

  11. FLL says:

    Regarding greed, take a look at the graph below showing the change in the corporate tax rate between 1947 and 2011. Look at the huge plunge during Reagan’s two terms of office. The 50% rate during the Eisenhower years of the 1950s seems like a reasonable corporate contribution, but today’s Republican field would call it communism. Does today’s Republican leadership really imagine that the Eisenhower 1950s era was the equivalent of communism? Mind-boggling false equivalency.

  12. Colin says:

    We as a species cannot continue as we have been. It is simply suicide.

    Water shortages


    Corrupt governments

    A lump of smuggled nuclear material the size of a softball could destroy a city

    Our population keeps growing as resources dwindle

    Major infrastructure problems

    Any one of these problems will bring the whole thing down.

    And we have these and more but America like Rome feels that we will go on just fine.

    There will be a reckoning , it is only a matter of time.

  13. FLL says:

    You can see, Mr. Froman, that not everyone agrees with Mr. Sanders’ support of a two-state solution, but it would do you well to fully understand the comparison below, which is that the Johnson administration sending American troops to Vietnam in 1965 is equivalent to Jewish refugees of the Holocaust who, having lost their possessions and fearing further persecution, were desperate to leave Europe in 1948. Mind-boggling.

  14. Butch1 says:

    Exactly so.

    Donald Trump will fit nicely into their reporting so they can continue their nauseating coverage of the Republican “clown car” and constant worshiping of Ms. Clinton ignoring the more serious issues Sanders wants to talk about. The media will have none of that of course. That apparently, doesn’t sell in the competition rating wars.

    We decided to get rid of our big Comcast service that included all of the major cable noise “entertainment news stations.” They had all become puerile noise making chatter with giggling and their “expert” talking heads became suspect after awhile. I miss the days of Jeremy Scahill and Glen Greenwald excellent journalism that you do not see on their channels anymore. They became too left-leaning news for even the “liberal” stations who claim to be liberal. (which they are not) MSNBC turned out to be cheerleaders for the White House not unlike FOX News is for the GOP. It’s disgusting to have to go outside of the United States to have to get any news about our country without it being so politically tainted or censured.

  15. Bill_Perdue says:

    I and most leftists oppose Sanders because he’s a tool of the MIC and a supporter of American wars of aggression.

    And because he supports the ‘two state solution’. That is no solution at all because it denies the absolute right of return by Palestinians forced off their land since 1948 by zionists colonial terrorists. And because it legitimizes the zionist colony and it’s occupation of most of Palestine. Sanders support for that makes leftists oppose him. We do that based on the same principle that guided our support for the Vietnamese independence struggle during the American invasions and attempted occupations by the right wing American regimes of LBJ and Nixon. We don’t recognize any colonial establishment.

    Many Jews are not zionists and that number will grow as the regime in the zionist colony and it’s regime turns violently to the right. Netanyahu’s agriculture minister “If there was any doubt about Ariel’s endgame, he made his feelings clear at a 2008 conference, where he said of Palestinian citizens of Israel: “We must encourage Arabs to willingly leave, both from the cities and from the state.”

    Racism in schools ” Polls show that Israeli youth are becoming less tolerant and more racist with each passing year. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Israeli teachers are now afraid to even bring up the topic of human rights, for fear of setting off a racist free-for-all in the classroom. And yet, the Education Ministers appointed by Netanyahu have consistently tinkered with the curriculum, hoping to create new generations of Jews even more sectarian than previous ones. This year, Israeli children began to learn about the Nazi Holocaust in kindergarten.

    As Religious Services Minister in the last Netanyahu government, Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett created a new bureaucratic body, the Jewish Identity Administration, to proselytize Orthodox Judaism to secular Israelis. Now that Bennett has been made Education Minister in the new Netanyahu government, he will not need to make use of a proxy organization in order to indoctrinate Israeli youth. Poll: Half of Israeli high schoolers oppose equal rights for Arabs… Nearly half of Israeli teens surveyed say they would refuse to evacuate West Bank settlements

  16. Zorba says:

    It has been quite awhile, Butch, since the media only dispensed the news. If they ever really did, although they weren’t so very blatant about it years ago. They are way more interested in creating “controversy,” going after the “ooh, sparkly!” and various other totally bullshit stuff.
    To my mind, it is very much the “look over there!” meme, rather than covering substantive issues. The Flying Spaghetti Monster forgive that they actually address the issues and ask candidates serious questions. That would not serve Wall Street and the wealthy in general well, would it? They are more than content to feed the masses pablum. And way too many of “the masses” are content to buy into this, even if it involves (as it very often does) voting against their own self-interests.

  17. mark_in_toronto says:

    When I was studying journalism in high school, our teacher would emphasis one of the Golden Rules of Journalism: Never editorialize.
    Today, they editorialize the shit out of every story and even throw in some entertainment to boot. And, since 95% of all “media outlets” (I hate that term) are owned by the upper 1%, they are basically reporting opinion and NOT the story.
    This is the reason Bernie and his supporters will have to fight even harder to push back at this Madison Ave. / Wall Street style of promoting candidates.
    Good luck Bernie . . . we hear you.

  18. FLL says:

    My third topic is Bernie Sanders and his support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, something which commenter Dave Froman notes further down on this thread. I looked up the information, and even Hamas is flexible enough to have stated its tentative support for a two-state solution after Hamas won the 2006 municipal and legislative Palestinian elections. According to a 2006 article in the BBC (

    It [Hamas] did, however, offer a 10-year truce in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967: the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem

    In addition, the Hamas leadership wrote George W. Bush a letter (link here) which states the Hamas position:

    “We are so concerned about stability and security in the area that we don’t mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and offering a truce for many years.”

    The only comment of my own is directed at Jon Green. Even though the U.S. presidential race is hardly an election for president of Palestine, Bernie Sanders support of a two-state solution is similar to not only the Fatah Party of the West Bank, but even the Hamas Party in Gaza. Now I’m just as much a fan of parody as anyone else, but I become curious when I consistently find comments on these pages to the effect that no Jewish settlers have any right to reside in the former British mandate of Palestine, that they must be removed and the Israeli state abolished. Do you, Mr. Green, consider this parody or serious political commentary?

  19. FLL says:

    My second topic is the valid use of statistics. Here is a link from a 2012 article in The New Yorker about a fact that most people have known for a long time. In the words of the author, “white women… remain one of the bulwarks of the Republican Party. The author of the article ticks off statistics that amply illustrate his point:
    (1) Well over 50% of white women voted for Romney in 2012 (about 55% according to exit polls).
    (2) In 2008, McCain got 53% of the white female vote.
    (3) In 2004, Bush got 55% of the white female vote.

    Obama’s two victories, of course, owe a lot to the overwhelming majorities of Black, Hispanic and Asian women who voted for him (not to mention, men of color). Now if I may add my perspective to this, I would say that white married women are even more inclined to vote Republican since there is well documented disconnect between unmarried and married women concerning the two parties’ respective platforms on reproductive rights. If the Democratic nominee in 2016 were a man ( e.g., Sanders or O’Malley), the dynamics would remain the same, resulting in a close race. However, you’d have to be living in a cave not to notice that white women, as a demographic, are enthusiastic about the prospect of Hillary becoming the first female president. Someone might object by saying, “There must be some men who vote Democratic who won’t vote for Hillary because she’s a woman.” My guess is that a few men who meet that description exist, but they are very few in number—especially compared to the legions of Republican-leaning white women who, by the looks of it, would walk over hot coals to vote for Hillary. Now go back to the statistics at the top of my comment and make up your own mind. This is what I mean by the valid use of statistics.

  20. Butch1 says:

    The “Lame Stream Media:” First they ignore him . . . now, they need to frame every interview with him around Ms. Clinton because they do not think he is a serious candidate.

    It isn’t up to them to decide this for us. I wish they would only dispense the news and if they are going to do an interview, give the man a fair shake and stop comparing him TO her. Perhaps they should compare her to HIM instead and give him a break. He has some good ideas and the people are very much behind him and NOT her. They are tired of Wall Street vetted candidates and the media trying to select them as well and ignoring all the other potential candidates, save the “big two.”

    When a clown like this latest Republican announced he was running and he got more coverage than Sanders, something is very wrong with the media. They are trying to make sure he doesn’t succeed.

  21. FLL says:

    My first topic is the misuse of statistics. I have no qualms about the fact that many Americans prefer a Republican victory in presidential races, and it’s only natural for Americans who prefer the Republican presidential ticket to want to convince themselves and others that a Republican White House is “just around the corner.” All well and good. However, when people jump to completely unwarranted conclusions based on an isolated piece of data, it’s in everyone’s interest to use critical thinking. Elections in which a sitting president is running for reelection will always show a smaller percentage of people registering to vote and voting than elections in which new faces are running. This is just common sense. Reelection campaigns are just not as exciting, and one major reason is that American voters usually reelect sitting presidents unless there are very convincing reasons not to do so. Only four presidents in American history have lost reelection: William Taft, Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. In contrast, 21 presidents have won reelection (including those who completed the term of a president who died in office and those who died during their last term). But can I back up my conclusion with historical facts? Here are the percentages of voter turnout for post-WWII two-term presidents, first and second term:
          Obama 2012-57.5%, 2008-63%
          GW Bush 2004-61%, 2000-55
          Clinton 1996-53%, 1992-61%
          Reagan 1984-57%, 1980-55%
          Nixon 1972-56%, 1968-62%
          Eisenhower 1956-60%, 1952-62%
          Truman (took over when FDR died), 1948-52%

    Only GW Bush saw a higher voter turnout during his reelection campaign, and you could reasonably conclude that enough people were freaked out by the Iraq War to turn out in larger numbers. In every other case, a reelection campaign say lower voter turnout, and voter turnout for Obama’s reelection was about average (the percentage for 2012 has been revised by most sources to 57.5%). As for midterm elections, I think most people understand the the president’s party loses congressional seats, especially in his sixth year of office, the so-called “six-year itch” (link here). Most people also understand that voter turnout is much lower in midterm elections, and turnout in 2010 and 2014 was about average for midterm elections (see graphic below).

    That brings us back to our hypothetical Republican cheerleader who’s jumping to a completely unwarranted conclusion by using voter turnout from 2012—and turnout from 2010 and 2014—to imply that the Democratic Party is losing support. Here are the post-WWII voter-turnout percentages for both presidential elections and midterms:

  22. Dave Froman says:

    You obviously have no true knowlege of how Mr Sanders has voted over the last 21 years or the fact that he has publicly stated he wants a 2 state solution, Israel needs to return the illegal settlement lands back to palestine and a lasting peace established….none of which will happen under israel’s Zionist regime. Being a Jew does not make you a Zionist. You don’t even NEED to be a Jew to be a Zionist. Many Jews all over the world (myself included) are outraged by the actions of the Israeli government over the last 60 years.

  23. Bill_Perdue says:

    Sanders role is to be a stalking horse for the Democrats, to tempt back all the independents and others who’ve broken with the Democrats and moved left. The same is true of Warren.

    They’re fighting a losing battle.

    Using Obama’s 2008 vote as a base Democrats dropped 27 million votes in 2010 and lost the House big time. By the presidential election 2012 the number of eligible voters actually voting was about 57.5% (down from 62.35 percent in 2008).That means that Obama got a bit over 29% of the eligible vote in 2012, down from 31% in 2008 and Romney got a bit less. The utterly corrupt, right wing Democrats were still bleeding supporters in 2014 when they convincingly lost the Senate to their mirror party, the utterly corrupt, right wing Republicans.

    That trend is likely to continue as poverty grinds at the live of tens of millions, as Obama fans the flames of war and as the effects of climate change put us all in danger. Aside form the storms and the fires our water resources are literally drying up. ‘The world’s largest underground aquifers — a source of fresh water for hundreds of millions of people — are being depleted at alarming rates, according to new NASA satellite data that provides the most detailed picture yet of vital water reserves hidden under the Earth’s surface.

    As for Sanders politics they won’t help the Democrats sucker people back into their party. He’s bitterly opposed to Palestinian independence and as a zionist, half the world will brand him as a racist. And he’s a poster boy for the Military Industrial Complex and Obama’s wars of aggression.

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