What has seemed to be the story of the Democratic presidential race so far appears to be replicating once again in Nevada.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ chance at victory in the caucuses there Saturday has long been discounted by the national media, blunted at least in part by the belief that Hispanic voters in the state are reliably in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's corner. But a new CNN/ORC poll shows that her strong lead may have vanished, just as it did before in Iowa.
The poll indicates that 48 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoes support Clinton against 47 percent who support Sanders — a statistical tie. That’s a big swing from the last time the poll was conducted in October, when Clinton led 50 percent to 34 percent. While Clinton is preferred on dealing with most of the top issues like healthcare, foreign policy and immigration, the two are neck and neck on the economy and overall values.
Those results are just the latest in what has been a trickle of bad news that looks more and more like a flood every day for Clinton, who was seen just a year ago as the nearly inevitable and unchallenged nominee. Just two states into the nominating season, it is clear that her path will not be nearly as easy as predicted. She pulled off a very close win in Iowa Feb. 1, winning by less than half a percent of the vote there. Just a week later in New Hampshire, Sanders delivered a decisive and nearly record-breaking defeat, beating Clinton 60.4 percent to 38 percent.
Nationally, Clinton still enjoys, on average, a comfortable lead over Sanders in polls. She leads him 49 percent to 35.3 nationally, according to Real Clear Politics. But, recent polls even show that the race could be quite a bit closer than that.
The CNN/ORC poll was conducted between Feb. 10 and 15. There were 606 respondents reached by landline and 400 reached by cell phone. The sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.