Polls Show Sanders Leading Clinton In New Hampshire, Fiorina and Carson Rising After Debate

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., arrives with his wife Jane at a campaign rally, July 6, 2015, in Portland, Maine.Robert F. BukatyAP Photo
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., arrives with his wife Jane at a campaign rally, July 6, 2015, in Portland, Maine.

Hillary Clinton has long been the frontrunner on the road to the Democratic nomination. But recently, the road has developed some potholes.

A new Boston Herald/Franklin Pierce University poll out Tuesday shows progressive rival Sen. Bernie Sanders leading Clinton by seven points in New Hampshire, 44-37 percent. It’s the first time the Vermont independent has led in any poll in any state this election cycle.

Here are five things we’ve learned from recent 2016 polling:

1. Carly Fiorina Rising from Second-Tier Debate

Just a week ago, businesswoman Carly Fiorina wasn’t even on the cusp on making the cut for the first Republican debate.

But now, she’s soared into a tie for fifth place in Iowa and a tie for fourth in New Hampshire with 9 percent, according to new CNN/ORC and Boston Herald/Franklin Pierce polls out in the last 24 hours.

But Fiorina was already acting like a general election candidate on Thursday, attacking Clinton during her closing statement.

“Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lies about e-mails,” she said. “She is still defending Planned Parenthood. And she is still her party's frontrunner.”

2. Ben Carson Makes Strides in Iowa

Dr. Ben Carson’s debate performance may have moved him near the top of the list in Iowa.

A new CNN/ORC poll out Wednesday shows Carson surging into second place –- overtaking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and trailing frontrunner Donald Trump by just eight points.

The neurosurgeon won over new fans after his closing remarks at the debate, talking about unity despite racial tensions. “Those that want to divide us, we shouldn't let them do it,” he said.

3. Trouble With Email

A majority of Americans say that Hillary Clinton’s emails should be subject to a criminal investigation for potential release of classified material, according to a new Monmouth University poll out Wednesday morning.

Still, 51 percent say that she just used her personal email for convenience and that it doesn’t suggest she has anything to hide.

But news of her private email server has grabbed the headlines, and Americans are paying attention. Six in 10 –- including a majority of independents –- say they have seen or heard “a lot” about Clinton’s private email account, according to the same poll. Only 15 percent say they haven’t heard anything at all.

Clinton has maintained that she did nothing illegal.

4. As Popular as Donald Trump?

In a Quinnipiac poll just before the GOP debate, only 37 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of Clinton. Not to mention, a strong majority -– including six in 10 independents and even one in five Democrats –- said they did not. Her favorability numbers (37-57 percent) are even statistically tied with another presidential frontrunner: Donald Trump (33-58 percent.)

So is it time to raise red flags in Clinton camp? In a word: No.

Even though new CNN/ORC numbers in Iowa today match her smallest lead there this cycle (50-31 percent), she still has strong majority support and leads by a broad 19 points.

Not to mention, recent polls have still shown her leading by as many as 40 percentage points nationally – never polling at less than 50 percent nationally.

5. Trump Still Out In Front

Despite the reshuffling of the pack after the GOP debate, one thing stayed exactly the same: Trump is still on top. Trump leads the Republican field in Iowa, still garnering 22 percent support, according to the CNN poll, enough for an eight point lead.

In New Hampshire, his lead is at six points, garnering 19 percent support.

Still, Trump’s high unfavorability numbers in recent polls threaten to hinder his ability to broaden his support.