- The Washington Times - Friday, February 5, 2016

Sen. Bernard Sanders has essentially erased what had been a 31-point deficit to 2016 Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton in December, according to a poll released Friday.

Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state, had 44 percent support among Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters in the national Quinnipiac poll, and Mr. Sanders was at 42 percent. The 2-point advantage was within the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

In a Quinnipiac survey released in December, Mrs. Clinton had held a 31-point, 61 percent to 30 percent, lead over Mr. Sanders.

“Democrats nationwide are feeling the Bern as Sen. Bernie Sanders closes a 31-point gap to tie Secretary Hillary Clinton,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Mrs. Clinton was still viewed favorably by 75 percent of Democrats, with 22 percent reporting an unfavorable view. Mr. Sanders had a 72 percent/10 percent favorable/unfavorable split among Democrats.

But Mr. Sanders had a 44 percent/35 percent favorable/unfavorable split among voters overall, compared to Mrs. Clinton’s negative 39 percent/56 percent favorable/unfavorable split.

Mr. Sanders also performed better than Mrs. Clinton against top Republican contenders in head-to-head match-ups, leading businessman Donald Trump by 10 points, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas by 4 points, and tying Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, beat Mr. Trump by 5 points, was tied with Mr. Cruz, and trailed Mr. Rubio by 7 points.

The poll released Friday was conducted after the Iowa caucuses, which Mrs. Clinton narrowly won.

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