Vermont Senator is moving up among the likely Iowa caucus voters.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been steadily gaining on front-runner Hillary Clinton in Iowa polling, according to a usatoday.com story.
Clinton still has a seven-point lead in the latest poll, but has lost about one third of her supporters since May. She is currently the favorite of 37% of likely Democratic caucus participants, with Sanders pulling 30%, according to a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll.
The poll results include Vice-President Joe Biden, pulling in some 14%, but even without the Biden involvement, the poll show former Secretary of State Clinton at 43%, well below a majority for her. She has been considered the likely Democratic candidate for some time. Biden has not officially entered the race as yet.
Sanders, a U.S. Senator from Vermont, is doing well in Iowa because people genuinely like the candidate. Over 96% of his supporters say they support him and his ideas, while a mere 2% say they support Sanders as an alternative to Clinton.
Sanders pulled just 5% back in January when although serving in Congress for 25 years as an Independent, he was a relative unknown in the state, while Clinton, well-known in politics for decades was sitting at 56%.
It is unclear what effect a Biden entry into the race would have. The analysis shows that in the recent poll, Biden took about 6% of support away from Clinton, but also about 5% from Sanders as well. He would expect to receive a bump in his own numbers just by announcing his candidacy.
Most observers still think the race is Clinton’s to win, or lose. Steve McMahon, a Virginia-based Democratic strategist said, “These numbers would suggest that she can be beaten. But it’s still early, and Hillary Clinton’s done this before. She knows what it takes to win.”
Some say this reminds them of the 2008 race. Clinton had a 6 point lead over John Edwards and led Obama by 7 points, but Obama jumped ahead, buoyed by young voters and took the lead by November.
Still, Clinton supporters are confident that, if she survives the primaries and is the Democratic presidential candidate, she will defeat the Republican opposition.