Bernie Sanders is for real: New poll shows him chipping away at Hillary's lead in Iowa

Sanders has been narrowing the gap in New Hampshire -- and now Iowa is looking a lot more interesting

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published July 2, 2015 3:11PM (EDT)

  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Bernie Sanders is gaining in Iowa, according to a new poll that shows the Vermont Senator and presidential candidate has doubled his standing in the Hawkeye state since May.

According to a Quinnipiac poll released today, Hillary Clinton still holds a sizable lead ahead of next winter's Democratic caucuses, with 52 percent support, 19 percentage points ahead of Sanders who is favored by 33 percent of Democratic caucus-goers. The same poll had Sanders' support at only 15 percent in early May.

26 percent of Iowans indicated that they haven’t heard enough about Sanders to form an opinion.

Quinnipiac's Peter A. Brown notes however that the activist streak of Iowa voters helps a Sanders campaign, "Iowa Democratic caucus-goers are generally considered more liberal than primary voters in most other states, a demographic that helps his insurgency against Secretary Clinton."

Sanders drew the largest crowds of any presidential campaign in this cycle so far in neiborhing Wisconsin last night. At a near capacity rally at the 10,000 seat Veterans Memorial Stadium in Madison, Sanders joked, "In case you haven't noticed, there are a lot of people here."

Sanders' rise has not yet been addressed by the Clinton campaign directly, although he has climbed to within 10 percentage points of Clinton in the latest polls in New Hampshire, another early voting state, but he has drawn direct attacks from a Super PAC supporting former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.

And his rise has been noted by some on the GOP side. Wisconsin Governor and all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee, Scott Walker, tweeted a welcome note to Sanders yesterday before blasting off a series of tweets attacking the former Veterans Affairs Chairman's record. They were all signed "STAFF":

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leads the Quinnipiac's poll of the Republican field in Iowa with 18 percent. Donald Trump came in second in the same poll, receiving 11 percent. He was tied for second with Ben Carson.

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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2016 Elections Bernie Sanders Democratic Party Hillary Clinton Iowa Caucuses The Left