5 Reasons Why the Race Between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is Tightening

The race for the Democratic Party’s nomination is tighter than ever.

ByCORINNE CATHCART, RYAN STRUYK and MARYALICE PARKS
January 14, 2016, 3:47 PM

— -- The race for the Democratic Party’s nomination is tighter than ever. Back-to-back polls appear to show Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders with the momentum, gaining ground and even passing Secretary Clinton among likely caucus-goers in Iowa.

A new Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll out today had the two candidates neck-and-neck among in the state (Clinton 42 percent, Sanders 40) and a Quinnipiac poll from earlier this week had Sanders leading over Clinton 49-44 percent).

Sanders appears to be sneaking up on Clinton nationally too. A new NYT/CBS poll this week showed Clinton with her smallest lead nationwide (Clinton 48 percent, Sanders 41).

So where is Sanders’ support coming from? Here’s a closer look at the numbers:

1. The Gender Gap: There is a huge gender gap among Sanders and Clinton supporters. Men overwhelmingly back Sanders (61 – 30 percent) according to the Quinnipiac University poll of Iowa voters out Tuesday. But the same poll finds that Clinton is fairing much better with women (55 – 39 percent).

2. The Liberals: Voters who consider themselves “very liberal” are overwhelmingly picking Sanders (57-41 percent), and those who consider themselves “somewhat liberal” are choosing him too, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

3. Education: Sanders is also the favorite among likely Iowa Democratic caucus participants without a college degree, the Quinnipiac polls finds. In this category, Sanders is leading Clinton by a substantial 10 percentage points (51-41 percent).

4. Trust on the Economy: Despite Clinton’s experience and name recognition, the same poll shows that Democratic participants think Sanders is better able than she is to handle the economy (51 -39 percent).

5. Favorability: Sanders continues to lead on the question of “favorability,” an issue that has been a sticking point for Clinton since the beginning of her campaign. However, among likely Democratic caucus participants, Clinton remains very favorable. The Quinnipiac poll showed Clinton with a 74- 21 percent favorable-unfavorable rating, and Sanders with an 87 – 3 percent favorability rating. The Des Moines Register poll released Thursday has these numbers event tighter: Clinton (86- 12 percent, favorable-unfavorable among) and Sanders (89-6 percent, favorable-unfavorable).

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