A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released on August 25, 2015, found Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton 42 percent to 35 percent in the Democratic presidential race. The new poll is the second poll in a little over two weeks to find Sanders with a 7-point lead in the Granite State. A Franklin Pierce poll released on August 12th, had Sanders leading the race 44 percent to 37 percent.
By reconfirming Sander’s lead in New Hampshire, the PPP poll suggests that the Vermont Senator’s momentum is real. In the context of the new survey, the Franklin Pierce poll results appear to have been a leading indicator of a pro-Sanders trend rather than a statistical anomaly.
Sanders is buoyed by a 78 percent favorable rating with Democratic voters in New Hampshire, compared to just 12 percent who view the senator negatively. Clinton is somewhat less well liked, with 63 percent of Democratic voters expressing a favorable opinion of her to 25 percent who view her unfavorably.
In New Hampshire, there is a clear generational divide in the Democratic electorate. Clinton has a solid lead over Sanders with voters 65 and older. She leads with Democratic seniors 51-34 percent. However, Bernie Sanders crushes her with voters 45 and under, where he has a 53-25 advantage.
While national polls of the Democratic race still show Hillary Clinton leading Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination, Sanders’ ability to put New Hampshire in play could alter the dynamics of the Democratic race. If Sanders is able to pull off an upset victory in the nation’s first primary, he would have an opportunity to capitalize on that momentum to score additional victories in the states that follow New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire primary is still over five months away, so it is far too early to predict the outcome. However, it is now fair to say that with two consecutive polls showing Sanders up by seven, the Vermont Senator is currently in the driver’s seat in New Hampshire.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.