Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) are in a dead heat for the Democratic presidential nomination in two key, early-nominating states, new NBC/Wall Street Journal polls found.
Clinton garnered 48% support among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa to Sanders’ 45%.
Sanders, however, remains ahead in New Hampshire, where he leads Clinton with 50% to the former secretary of state’s 46%.
The new poll also discovered further signs that Sanders is well positioned in early states for a general-election run if he can pull off an upset over Clinton.
Clinton would lose in theoretical head to head match-ups with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to the polls. Sanders, meanwhile, outperforms both in New Hampshire and ties Rubio in Iowa. And Sanders holds wider leads in the states over current GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
The Sanders campaign has shifted gears in the past week, highlighting Sanders’ popularity in general-election polls. His campaign staff has touted his head-to-head numbers, even using them in a slight dig at Clinton and Trump on Thursday.
“I would urge those voters, the voters all over this country, to take a look at recent polls in which Bernie Sanders is matched with Republican candidates,” Sanders said during an interview on ABC on Sunday.
“If people are concerned about electability — and Democrats should be very concerned, because we certainly do not want to see some right-wing extremist in the White House — I think Bernie Sanders is the candidate.”
For her part, Clinton said Sunday that the polls are fleeting.
“Oh, John, you know these polls — they go up, they go down,” Clinton told “Face The Nation” host John Dickerson. “I stay pretty focused on what we have to do.”
Early general-election presidential polls tend to be fairly unreliable months away from Election Day. Though Clinton is extremely well known among voters, Sanders, Rubio, and Cruz are still building name recognition with voters.
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