With a week and a half to go until the voting in the Iowa caucuses — and then just over a week after that for the New Hampshire primary — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are waging a stiff battle for these two kickoff contests.
The polls in the first caucus state show a bizarre picture on the Democratic side:
- A poll from KBUR radio, Clinton led with 48 percent, then Sanders at 39 percent, and Martin O’Malley with 7 percent.
- A CNN poll gave Sanders a shock lead, 51 percent to 43 percent, and O’Malley at 4 percent.
- Loras College’s poll gave Clinton a landslide lead, 59 percent to 30 percent, and O’Malley 7 percent.
Bottom line: Clinton has been ahead in most polls of this state — though it seems highly unlikely she would win by 29 points. We’ll all find out in 10 days.
In the first primary state, the polls all show Bernie Sanders ahead — but even here the polls are a bizarre mixture, with wildly different margins.
- New Hampshire-based American Research Group showed Sanders ahead, 49 percent to 43 percent, plus O’Malley at 3 percent.
- Then the ground shook with the release of a CNN poll, showing Sanders with a whopping 60 percent, nearly double Clinton’s share of 33 percent, and O’Malley at just 1 percent.
- Suffolk University has Sanders ahead by a much less dramatic (but still solid) margin, 50 percent to 41 percent, with O’Malley at 2 percent.
Bottom line: Bernie is probably not ahead by 27 points in New Hampshire — but he probably is ahead in New Hampshire.
Photo: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and rival candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (R) speak simultaneously at the NBC News – YouTube Democratic presidential candidates debate in Charleston, South Carolina January 17, 2016. REUTERS/Randall Hill