Poll: Bernie Sanders Burns Hillary Clinton With First-Ever National Lead

The Associated Press
AP Photo/David Goldman

For the first time, a poll shows upstart Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leading establishment favorite Hillary Clinton nationally.

Fox News poll, conducted jointly with Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), shows Sanders with 47 percent versus Clinton, who has 44 percent.

Sanders is up from 37 percent in January and Clinton is down from 49 percent.

The Fox News results arrive just one day after a CNN/ORC poll showed a mere one-point difference between Clinton and Sanders in the upcoming Nevada caucus.

Republican pollster Daron Shaw told Fox that he credits the change to a large defection among “blue-collar, white Democrats” from the Clinton camp. In contrast, Clinton has maintained support among black voters and those with a college degree, Fox found.

Clinton’s low rating on trust is is damaging. Asked whether Clinton “has the integrity to serve effectively as president,” 75 percent of Democrats said yes, but 55 percent of all voters say she does not. That result includes 64 percent of independent voters.

Sanders has consistently pushed his promise of “free college” and forcing Wall Street bail out America’s ailing middle class as a way to appeal to his mostly millennial-aged voter base. Clinton has the support of women and older electorate.

Democratic pollster Chris Anderson told Fox that Clinton’s loss of support to Sanders really “accelerated” after the Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses. Still, ahead of Saturday’s Nevada caucus, Sanders and Clinton must vie for the Democratic Latino vote. The two candidates are essentially in a tie among that voter base with Sanders receiving more support from the youth and the older population backing the former secretary of state.

Asked if Sanders is “realistic enough to serve effectively as president,” 72 percent of Democrats said yes while 48 percent overall agreed and 44 percent of Independents disagreed.

The timing of Sanders’ surge doesn’t surprise Republican pollster Daron Shaw: “Historically, lesser-known candidates beating establishment candidates in early contests have seen the biggest boost in their national support.”  Shaw and Anderson jointly conduct the Fox News Poll.

The Fox News poll was conducted by telephone between February 15-17 among 1,031 randomly-selected registered adult voters and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters, and 4.5 points for the Democratic primary voter sample, which consisted of 429 people.

The full poll can be found here.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.