Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who refers to himself as a Democratic socialist, is now leading former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination for president in New Hampshire, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll.
The poll results found Sanders earning the backing of 46 percent of respondents who plan to vote in the Democratic primary next year. Clinton received support from 30 percent of respondents, resulting in a 16 percent lead for Sanders over his biggest competitor.
Vice President Joe Biden received 14 percent of the votes, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley 2 percent, and former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia only 1 percent.
Sanders came out far ahead of Clinton with male respondents, receiving 56 percent of their support, with Clinton at 20 percent. The two were closer with women with Sanders only 2 percent ahead of Clinton at 39 percent versus 37 percent.
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The poll also found that should Biden decide to not run for the presidential nomination, the amount of supporters that could swing towards either candidate would not change Sanders’ hold in the state. Clinton’s percentage would rise to 36, but Sanders would gain 3 percent to come in at 49 percent.
When it comes to who voters think could win the 2016 presidential election against a Republican candidate, Clinton remains in the lead with 51 percent responding that she could win. Sanders has 19 percent of respondents believing he could win the election, and Biden has 15 percent.
As for who voters think has the experience for the job, 44 percent chose Clinton, 23 percent said Biden, and 18 percent selected Sanders.
The CNN/WMUR poll was conducted between Sept. 17 and 23. A random sample of 820 New Hampshire residents were surveyed, including 314 who say they plan to vote in the Democratic presidential primary. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.5 percentage points.
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Sanders will be campaigning in New Hampshire over the weekend with the help of someone who is very familiar with Clinton: Jonathan Tasini.
Tasini challenged Clinton in the primary for her Senate seat in New York in 2006 but she refused to participate in a debate with him. She would go on to win the election with more than 83 percent of the vote.
Tasini told The New York Times his joining Sanders on the campaign trail has nothing to do with any ill-will towards Clinton. He said he is merely there to support Sanders, whom he just completed a book about, “The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America.”
“Had Bernie not run, I would have just stayed out of the whole thing,” Tasini said. “And if he hadn’t run I wouldn’t be looking around to find someone else.”
Tasini noted that Sanders "faces a steep hill," adding that he could win at least one of the first two voting states.
"Then the whole map is going to look different," he said.