- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sen. Bernard Sanders has cut a 27-point deficit to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton down to 10 points and is running better against several leading GOP presidential candidates than his 2016 Democratic rival, according to a national poll released Wednesday.

Mrs. Clinton had a 10-point, 50 percent to 40 percent lead over Mr. Sanders in the national Suffolk University/USA Today poll. In a Suffolk/USA Today poll released two months ago, Mrs. Clinton had held a 27-point, 56 percent to 29 percent lead over Mr. Sanders.

In the new poll, Mrs. Clinton trailed Ohio Gov. John Kasich by 11 points, 49 percent to 38 percent, she trailed Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida by 6 points, 48 percent to 42 percent. She also trailed GOP front-runner Donald Trump by 2 points, 45 percent to 43 percent, and she trailed Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas by 1 point, 45 percent to 44 percent.

Mr. Sanders, meanwhile, led Mr. Cruz by 2 points and trailed Mr. Rubio by 4 points, Mr. Kasich by 3 points, and Mr. Trump by 1 point.

“Bernie Sanders is closing the Democratic primary gap and is stronger than Hillary Clinton in the general election,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.

Among voters overall, 33 percent said they would feel “scared” if Mrs. Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee, compared to 21 percent who said “dissatisfied,” 26 percent who said “satisfied,” and 16 percent who said “enthusiastic.”

Meanwhile, 28 percent said they would feel scared if Mr. Sanders became the nominee, 19 percent said they would be dissatisfied, 31 percent said they would be satisfied, and 16 percent said they would be enthusiastic.

On the Republican side, Mr. Trump was out in front at 35 percent support, followed by Mr. Cruz at 20 percent, Mr. Rubio at 17 percent, Mr. Kasich at 7 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 6 percent, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 4 percent.

Thirty-eight percent of overall voters said they would feel scared if Mr. Trump became the GOP nominee, compared to 18 percent who said they would feel dissatisfied, 24 percent who said “satisfied,” and 15 percent who said “enthusiastic.”

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