A Suffolk University poll shows that Sanders has the support of 31% of likely Democratic primary voters, only 10 percentage points away from Clinton’s 41%.
It’s the latest evidence that, beyond just a curiosity, liberals are finding a home with Sanders, a senator from neighboring Vermont, and self-identified socialist who’s drawn big crowds at events in Iowa and New Hampshire in recent weeks.
They’re the only two candidates registering in double digits. Vice President Joe Biden is at 7%, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley gets 3% support and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee are each at 1%.
The Suffolk poll found a clear gender gap: Clinton wins women, 47% to 28%, while Sanders leads among men, 35% to 32%. Clinton performs best in heavily populated southern New Hampshire, while Sanders leads the less-populated northern and western portions of the state.
“Most political observers felt that Hillary Clinton’s large early lead among Democratic voters would eventually shrunk a bit over time,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, in a release accompanying the poll.
“But in New Hampshire right now, the lead has shrunk a lot, and this is a much different Democratic primary race than we are seeing in other states so far,” he said.
The survey of 500 likely Democratic primary voters was conducted June 11-15, using live landline and cellphone interviews. Its margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.