- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has opened up a 16-point lead on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the early presidential state of New Hampshire, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in third, according to a CNN/WMUR poll released this week on the contest for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Mr. Sanders had the support of 46 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in the state, followed by Mrs. Clinton at 30 percent and Mr. Biden at 14 percent.

The results are a complete turnaround from July, when Mrs. Clinton had been in the lead at 42 percent, followed by Mr. Sanders at 36 percent and Mr. Biden at 5 percent. Mr. Biden has not yet announced his 2016 plans.

Mr. Sanders was the best-liked Democratic candidate, with a 78 percent/11 percent favorable/unfavorable split. Mr. Biden was close behind with a 69 percent/17 percent split, and Mrs. Clinton’s net favorability ratings, though they have declined, were good as well. She had a 67 percent favorable/23 percent unfavorable split.

Voters are now also increasingly seeing Mr. Sanders as capable of winning the New Hampshire primary. He was tied with Mrs. Clinton on the question of who voters think will win the state, at 42 percent apiece, after Mrs. Clinton had a 68 percent-17 percent advantage over Mr. Sanders on that question in July.

Fifty-one percent did say Mrs. Clinton has the best chance of winning the general election in November, compared to 19 percent for Mr. Sanders and 15 percent for Mr. Biden.

Voters were split on whether Mr. Biden should actually run, with 37 percent saying he should, 32 percent saying he should not, and 30 percent saying they weren’t sure.

Forty percent of Biden supporters said Mrs. Clinton was their second choice and 19 percent said Mr. Sanders was their second choice.

The survey, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center from Sept. 17-23, included 314 likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.5 percent for that group.

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