Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are in a statistical tie in New Hampshire, according to the results of the most recent WMUR Granite State Poll
conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
Sanders, a self-described socialist, has been gaining on Clinton in the Granite State. Thirty-six percent of Democratic primary voters said they would vote for him, compared with 42 percent for Clinton. The poll's 3.6 percent margin of error places them in a statistical dead heat.
Vice President Joe Biden garnered 5 percent support, while former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb each received 1 percent. Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee received -5 percent support.
As Sanders' net favorability ratings — the percentage of likely voters who have a favorable opinion minus those who have an unfavorable opinion — have increased, Clinton's have declined, according to the survey results.
Sanders is the most popular Democrat in the state, with 69 percent of likely Democratic primary voters holding a favorable view of him, though it dips to 59 percent when factored with those who hold an unfavorable view or are neutral or unsure.
Clinton, who had previously held that distinction, now has a net favorability rating of 54 percent.
Sanders' campaign told CNN
that the senator's message is resonating with Americans.
"The more people know about Bernie the more they like him and his ideas for helping the middle class and taking on the billionaire class," spokesman Michael Briggs said.
Clinton's campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
Voters age 65 and over, women, moderates and people living along the Massachusetts border comprise the bulk of Clinton's support, while men, liberals, 35-to-49-year-olds and those living in the Connecticut Valley are Sanders' stalwarts, according to the poll results.
Most New Hampshire primary voters have yet to commit to a candidate, the survey found, which is status quo at this point in the election cycle.
"New Hampshire primary voters typically decide who they will vote for in the last weeks, or days of the campaign and it is no surprise that few voters have made up their minds about who they will support in 2016," according to the pollsters.
Presently only 20 percent of likely Democratic primary voters say they have decided who they will support, while 27 percent are leaning toward a candidate. A plurality — 35 percent — are still weighing their options.
The WMUR Granite State Poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Pollsters interviewed 722 randomly selected adults by landline and cellphone between July 22 and July 30.
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