It may be early in the 2016 presidential election, but new poll results show that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has lost her edge in Iowa, an important swing state, to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
For the first time among Iowa Democrats likely to caucus in February, Sanders has overtaken the former secretary of state, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday morning. Via Politico:
The Vermont senator’s advantage is within the margin of error — he took 41 percent compared with Clinton’s 40 percent — and another 12 percent said they would support Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to declare his 2016 intentions. (Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley picked up 3 percent, while no other candidate registered above that mark, and 3 percent were undecided.)
But the shift is a significant one, coming on the heels of polls showing Sanders edging Clinton in New Hampshire, too. Together, the results suggest a candidate reeling from the controversy over her emails and struggling to put down a rebellion on her left flank.
Sanders’ populist message is playing well with prospective voters on the campaign trail as he rails against Wall Street influences in Washington and business as usual on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
Although Clinton remains the clear front-runner for the nomination, the shifting numbers mean that she has to step up her game on the campaign trail. She recently offered a heartfelt apology for controversy over her emails, and has begun to loosen up on the trail. On Thursday, Clinton also released a campaign finance overhaul plan. The New York Times reports:
The issue of campaign finance reform has galvanized voters in both parties amid a roiling debate about what democracy means in an era when “super PACs” can raise and spend billions in support of candidates. Two candidates — Donald J. Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont — have struck a chord by railing against the influence of such groups in politics.
Mrs. Clinton’s multiprong plan includes a push for legislation that would require greater public disclosure of political spending, establish a matching system for congressional and presidential candidates, and support a Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose political spending to shareholders.
Politico notes that the sampling was conducted from Aug. 27-Sept. 8, “surveying 832 likely Democratic caucus participants in the Hawkeye State via landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.”
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