It's a statistical tie but a new poll showing Bernie Sanders surging more than 20 points in two months to overtake Hillary Clinton in Iowa may be enough to shake the prevailing thought that the one-time prohibitive frontrunner would presume a coronation rather than a traditional campaign during the Democratic nominating contest.
A Quinnipiac poll released today indicates that the Vermont senator is the favorite among 41 percent of likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers, compared with 40 percent supporting the former Secretary of State. Vice President Joe Biden, who is mulling a late entry into the race, garnered 12 percent support.
In July, Clinton was at 52 percent among Iowa’s likely Democratic caucus-goers versus 33 percent for Sanders.
“Sanders has seized the momentum by offering a message more in line with disproportionately liberal primary and caucus voters,” said the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, Peter A. Brown. "He is the candidate of the Democratic left, against his own party’s bosses and their prized presidential candidate, Secretary Hillary Clinton.”
Sanders also tops Clinton in the latest polls of New Hampshire, the second Democratic nominating contest. Sanders leads Clinton 41-32 in a new NBC News/Marist poll of the Granite State, up a whopping 19 points from July.
Nancy Pelosi credited young voters with propelling the Sanders surge, telling reporters this week that she was amazed by the turnout she witnessed while visiting a number of the candidate's West Coast stops during the August recess.
“It’s a younger demographic, and I think that it’s really good for the country [and] certainly for the Democratic Party for him to attract people to the polls,” she said, adding, “hopefully he can keep them there in the general election for our Democratic candidates.”
“I was going right down that trail and it was just amazing to see,” Pelosi told reporters from her office in the Capitol. “Parents would come to me and say, ‘I’m for Hillary, I’m for this one, I’m for that one, [but] my kids are all for Bernie Sanders.’"
Pelosi went on to praise the self-described democratic socialist as a good representative of the Democratic party: “I’m proud of what Bernie is saying out there, and it’s a reflection of what we fight for here. And then Bernie is Bernie, and he’ll go to his place — you know, his distinct place — and we don’t all agree on everything.”