Bernie Sanders scored 41 percent in a straw poll vote at the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention this weekend, with Hillary Clinton winning with 49 percent—a narrower lead than expected and an encouraging sign for the populist candidate who announced his presidential campaign in late April.
The Independent senator from Vermont, who is running for president as a Democrat, got 208 of 511 votes from delegates, alternates, and registered guests at the Milwaukee convention on Saturday, while Clinton—still currently the frontrunner to receive the Democratic nomination—got 252 votes, leaving her short of a majority, Politico reports.
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As Sanders continues to pull in big crowds in states like New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Iowa, the results of the straw poll are encouraging. Politico continues:
In the two weeks since he announced his candidacy, the Vermont senator has seen an uptick in the polls against Clinton — who remains the heavy favorite — and Sanders is showing signs he could pick up some supporters of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the progressive icon who has said repeatedly that she will not run for president in 2016.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley each received 16 votes in a tie for a distant third.
As John Nichols wrote for The Nation, the results are "another sign of unexpected and significant support."