Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has maintained her lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ahead of the New York Democratic primary Tuesday, a YouGov/CBS poll released Sunday indicated. While some people surveyed by CBS described Sanders as more likable and authentic, others said Clinton was both more specific in her policy plans and electable in the fall.
Clinton leads Sanders with a spread of 10 percentage points in New York, seeing 53 percent support compared to the Vermont senator’s 43 percent, the poll indicated. The spread between the candidates has narrowed in the state in the past several weeks though Clinton leads by 12.5 percentage points, according to an average of available polling data provided by Real Clear Politics.
The New York primary has taken on symbolic significance for the Democratic candidates in the historically blue state. Sanders was born in Brooklyn and Clinton served as New York's U.S. senator, leading both campaigns to cast the primary election as something of a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party.
“I think we have to do well here in New York, but there are plenty of events between here and California and Washington, D.C., at the end for us to make up the difference,” Sanders senior campaign strategist Tad Devine told reporters after the Democratic debate in Brooklyn Thursday, adding, “We’ve shaved a third off of her advantage by winning eight of the last nine contests.”
Where the avowed socialist Sanders has spoken of a “revolution,” campaigning for free college and healthcare, Clinton has touted her record of incremental change, pointing to victories in the charter school system and local hospitals in her eight years as a senator. “Together, we won’t just make promises we can’t keep,” she said at Thursday night’s CNN debate, adding, “We’ll deliver results that will improve the lives of the people in New York and in America.”
The CBS/YouGov poll was conducted with 2,050 registered voters in New York April 13-15, and it had a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.