It is Sunday and another secret Democratic debate will begin hours from now. But if having these secret debates at all weird hours of the night was a tactic by the DNC to favor the better known Hillary Clinton while keeping the lesser known Bernie Sanders away from the masses, then this has been a colossal failure on the DNC.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed Sanders with a five-percentage-point lead over Clinton, 49% to 44%.
The latest poll suggests a stark difference from a month ago where Clinton held an 11 percentage point lead over Sanders. Quinnipiac’s survey found that voters in Iowa, where caucuses are held on Feb. 1, see Sanders as more honest and more empathetic than Cliton who, however, is seen by voters as more electable than Sanders in a general election and stronger on foreign policy.
“Iowa may well become Sen. Bernie Sanders’ ‘Field of Dreams,’ Peter A. Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement. “After three months of Secretary Hillary Clinton holding an average 10-point lead among Iowa Democrats, the playing field has changed.”
If Sanders beats Clinton in Iowa, it would be a surprise given her deep support among Iowa’s Democratic establishment. It would also likely draw comparisons to Clinton’s 2008 presidential run. In the caucuses that year, then-senator Barack Obama beat Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards, largely due to the support of first-time caucus-goers.
A win for Sanders in Iowa would give him a boost headed into New Hampshire’s Feb. 9 primary. Sanders, who represents the neighboring state of Vermont, continues to hold a slight lead in the polls there.
A Monmouth University poll released Tuesday found Sanders leading Clinton in New Hampshire, 53% to 39%.