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Bernie Sanders is having a very good week — with plenty of polls showing voters taking themselves out of frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s column, and going into his.


The Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday found Bernie Sanders taking the lead in the first caucus state, 49 percent to 44 percent, plus Martin O’Malley at 4 percent. In the previous poll from December, Clinton had been ahead 51 percent to 40 percent, and O’Malley had 6 percent.

Also on Tuesday, a survey from Democratic-aligned firm Public Policy Polling showed Clinton still ahead, 46 percent to 40 percent, with O’Malley at 8 percent — but this was a sharp decline from her previous lead in December, which was 52 percent to 34 percent, and O’Malley at 7 percent.

Then on Thursday, the poll released by The Des Moines Register — often viewed as the gold standard of Iowa surveys, had Clinton at 42 percent, Sanders 40 percent, and O’Malley 4 percent.

New Hampshire

In the first primary (as opposed to caucus) state, neighboring Bernie’s home state of Vermont, two polls released this week showed him ahead. New Hampshire-based American Research Group had Sanders at 47 percent, Clinton 44 percent, and O’Malley 3 percent.

Meanwhile, Monmouth University put Sanders way ahead with 53 percent, with Clinton far back at 39 percent, and then O’Malley with just 5 percent.

One word of caution, though: New Hampshire is famously the state where in 2008, right after Barack Obama’s stunning victory in the Iowa caucuses, all the polls showed him on track to swamp Clinton here and then seemingly sew up the nomination. But then on primary night, Hillary actually won in a huge upset — vaulting herself back on top, and then setting the two up for the marathon primary race that carried the two campaigns through every single state and territory.

The National Picture

The CBS News/New York Times poll released Tuesday put Clinton ahead among Democratic primary voters nationwide with 48 percent, then Sanders 41 percent, and O’Malley 2 percent. In the previous poll in December, Clinton had an outright majority at 52 percent, then Sanders at just 32 percent, and O’Malley 2 percent.

Photo: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders smiles as he listens to U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington, January 12, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

"Performative patriotism" is a fancy way of describing what my father — a veteran of World War II who rarely spoke about his service — called "jelly-bellied flag flappers." Dad always laughed at those phonies, but we now suffer a president who is exactly that type, only worse. And Donald Trump's flag-flapping fakery is no joke.

A performative patriot is someone who, like Trump, oversells his supposed love of country, his reverence for the Stars and Stripes and, especially, his indignation at those whom he suspects of lacking his deep fervor. Such a figure will, like Trump, attempt to market these counterfeit emotions for his own benefit. And like Trump, that loud jingo is someone whose character will lead to a betrayal of American values.

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