Surging Sanders Nabs First National Lead over Clinton, Poll Shows

A new Fox News poll shows Clinton trailing Sanders by three points nationally, while the latest AP-GfK poll also finds Sanders up by a whopping 21 points in terms of electability. (Photo: Bernie Sanders Campaign/Facebook)

Surging Sanders Nabs First National Lead over Clinton, Poll Shows

Bernie Sanders is making enormous gains against the once-presumed Democratic nominee

Offering further proof that it's "Sanders' moment," Bernie Sanders makes enormous gains and poses a real threat to Hillary Clinton's once-wide lead among Democrats, according to two polls released Friday.

Fox News' latest national poll finds that more Democratic primary voters now back Sanders at 47 percent, up from 37 percent in January. Clinton's support, on the other hand, is at 44 percent, a 5-point drop from the previous poll. The new poll comes just a day after Sanders was shown to outperform Clinton in hypothetical match-ups against Republican candidates.

The poll finds that Clinton's drop-off has been most dramatic among female, white, and blue-collar voters.

Furthermore, notesFox, "Three in 10 voters nationally would feel either extremely or very satisfied if Sanders wins the presidency (30 percent). That's more than say the same about Clinton (24 percent satisfied), Trump (21 percent satisfied), and Jeb Bush (15 percent satisfied)." In addition, the poll found that among voters of all parties, "Clinton's Achilles' heel may be trustworthiness. While Democrats think by 75-22 percent that Clinton 'has the integrity' to serve effectively as president, a 55-percent majority of voters overall say she doesn't. That includes 64 percent of independents."

Sanders has also made extraordinary gains among Democrats in terms of electability. An Associated Press-GfK poll released Friday shows that Democratic voters' belief in Sanders' viability as a presidential nominee has gone up by a remarkable 21 percent. Clinton boasted a 41-point lead over Sanders on this question as recently as December, but Friday Sanders trails Clinton by a mere nine points.

AP-GfK Poll, February 2016

"A greater percentage of Democratic registered voters view the Vermont senator as likable, honest, competent and compassionate than they did just two months ago," the APwrites. "[Sixty-two] percent now believe he could win the general election, a 21 percentage point increase from the last time the survey was conducted in December."

In another sign that Clinton's once-hefty lead in the polls is dwindling, a poll of Colorado voters released Friday by the Washington Free Beacon shows Sanders overtaking Clinton in the state with less than two weeks to go before Super Tuesday. While Clinton once boasted a double-digit lead, now Sanders leads Clinton among Coloradans by 49 to 43 percent. Notably the poll demonstrated that Colorado's Hispanic voters, a majority of whom once supported Clinton, now support Sanders -- 41 percent to Clinton's 38 percent.

"Likely caucus-goers think Sanders cares more about people like them by a 20-point margin," notes the Washington Free Beacon, "with only 31 percent finding Clinton empathetic."

Sanders' rapid ascent reflects what some have long predicted. Last May, Steve Hendricks observed in the Columbia Journalism Review that "over the last 40 years, out of seven races in which the Democratic nomination was up for grabs--races, that is, when a sitting Democrat president wasn't seeking reelection--underdogs have won the nomination either three or four times (depending on your definition of an underdog) and have gone on to win the presidency more often than favored candidates."

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