Sanders, Clinton Neck-and-Neck in First 2 States

His general election numbers are also looking good
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2016 1:21 AM CST
Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, smiles as Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, speaks during the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher)
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(Newser) – The Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries are just weeks away—and the latest polls suggest that Hillary Clinton will have plenty of sleepless nights before they arrive. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll, Bernie Sanders is neck-and-neck with Clinton in both states, with her 48% to 45% lead in Iowa and his 50% to 46% lead in New Hampshire both within the margin of error. Donald Trump, meanwhile, is behind Ted Cruz in Iowa, 28% to 24%, with Marco Rubio in third at 13%, but has 30% in New Hampshire, where Rubio has 14% and Cruz 11%. Ben Carson is in fourth place in Iowa with 11%, while Jeb Bush's 9% leaves him tied with John Kasich for fourth place in New Hampshire.

Clinton still has a healthy lead in nationwide polls, but Sanders winning both Iowa and New Hampshire "would be a total nightmare" for her, writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. There would be 11 days between the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9 and the Nevada vote, followed by another week until the South Carolina primary, which is plenty of time for the race to "fundamentally shift," he notes. The Journal poll has more bad news for Clinton: According to results from Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders could beat any of the top three Republicans in a general election, while Clinton could only beat Trump. (Martin O'Malley is at 5% in Iowa and just 1% in NH, meaning he may not qualify for the next Democratic presidential debate.)

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