Society

Bernie Sanders Pulls Ahead In Iowa, Expands New Hampshire Lead

| by Nik Bonopartis
Democratic Candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary ClintonDemocratic Candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

With primaries right around the corner, a new poll shows Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont pulling away from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, and edging the Democratic front-runner in Iowa.

Sanders enjoys a comfortable 20 point lead in New Hampshire, where state Democrats will cast their votes for the party's nominee on Feb. 9. With 57 percent of those polled telling CBS/YouGov they're voting for Sanders, compared to Clinton's 38 percent, the poll shows the Vermont senator's lead could be expanding from the 12-point margin he enjoys in aggregated polls of likely New Hampshire voters, according to RealClear Politics.

Meanwhile, Sanders has opened up a small lead in Iowa, edging Clinton 47 to 46 percent, the CBS/YouGov poll found. Aggregated polls mirror that result, showing Sanders up by 1 percentage point.

Trustworthiness has been a defining element in the Democratic race, and the poll found it was an important issue among voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa, 91 percent of Democrats said Sanders would side with voters over big donors, while 57 percent said they think Clinton would do the opposite.

Other indicators are favorable to Sanders as well. Among Iowans, CBS reported, 28 percent of likely voters said Clinton's attacks on Sanders have been unfair, while only 16 percent thought Sanders had unfairly critiqued Clinton.

The new polling figures were released as Clinton faced new questions about her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, and as the Clinton campaign flooded Iowa with celebrities stumping for the former first lady, including pop singer Katy Perry, actress Lena Dunham, and Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton.

On the other side of the political divide, Republican front-runner Donald Trump maintained a comfortable lead in national polls as well as key early battleground states. Despite polls that show Trump losing to Clinton in a theoretical general election, Republican voters have stuck with the real estate mogul.

Iowa voters will cast primary ballots on Feb. 1, followed by New Hampshire's Feb. 9 vote. After that, Democratic and Republican primaries will be held on different dates in several states, including Nevada and South Carolina. Nevada Democrats will vote on Feb. 20, while their counterparts in South Carolina will cast ballots on Feb. 27.

Sources: CBS, RealClear Politics (2) (3) / Photo credit: Composite from Wikimedia Commons (2)