- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:



 A new poll in New Hampshire shows the underfunded upstart candidacy of virtually unknown Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a serious challenge in the state known for loving underdogs.

The survey by Suffolk University found the 41 percent of likely Democratic primary voters would back Hillary, while 31 percent said they’d back the Vermont senator, an independent who identifies as a Socialist. 

Hillary is commanding scads of TV time, having delivered not one but two announcement speeches. Her every move is captured by cable TV stations and aired ad infinitum. But Sanders has a hard time getting coverage for just about any speech he gives, and travels with a fairly small entourage, unlike the massive motorcade and private jets that ferry Team Clinton about town.

Sanders is running as a far-left candidate, following in the footsteps of liberal hearthrob Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was boosted by the media but decided not to run.

“The poll is not a home run for Bernie Sanders, but it could be characterized as a line shot to deep left field,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, told NH1 News.

The survey showed that Hillary led among women but trailed with men. Just 9 percent say they have an unfavorable opinion of Sanders; Hillary’s number is twice that.

And Sanders is closing the gap: A survey released just a few days ago by Morning Consultant put Clinton at 44 percent and Sanders at 32 percent.

Asked about the poll, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley told NH1 News that “we have always said that this is going to be a contested primary. We have always said that New Hampshire enjoys tripping up frontrunners. Just ask George W. Bush in 2000. Just ask Ed Muskie in 1972, and all through the decades.”

“So it is not surprising the polls have tightened. There’s a genuine excitement about Sen. Sanders campaign,” Buckley added. “We’ve got an exciting primary on our hands. It’s going to attract a lot of new voters. “

When Sanders predicted he would win  New Hampshire, many scoffed. Maybe he’s not that far off.

 

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