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For Clinton And Sanders, New Hampshire Remains Competitive In Post-Debate Polls

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 19/10/2015 Janie Velencia

Two post-debate polls released Monday show that New Hampshire remains a competitive primary state for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll finds that 38 percent of New Hampshire's likely Democratic voters stand behind Sanders, while 30 percent support Clinton. Those numbers take into account the possibility of Vice President Joe Biden also declaring his candidacy, which he has not yet actually done. When Biden's name is removed from the list of possible presidential contenders, Sanders' lead over Clinton jumps to 10 percentage points (48 percent to 38 percent).

Sanders' advantage over Clinton in the Franklin Pierce/Herald poll is fairly clear, even though a greater number of likely voters in the poll said they think Clinton actually won the first Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 cycle, which took place last week in Las Vegas. Sanders' 8-point margin ahead of Clinton is essentially identical to the 7-point lead he had over her in an August Franklin Pierce/Herald poll. 

Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll shows a tighter race, with Clinton gaining 37 percent of the vote among New Hampshire's likely Democratic voters, and Sanders netting 35 percent -- well within the poll's 4 percent margin of error. 

According to the HuffPost Pollster New Hampshire primary chart, which aggregates all publicly available polls, Sanders stands 11 percentage points ahead of Clinton. 

While New Hampshire seems like it's shaping up to be a competitive race, a majority of respondents in both surveys said they still believe Clinton will ultimately be the Democratic nominee. 

Nationally, it's unclear whether Sanders or Clinton have benefited much from their debate performances. According to a CNN/ORC poll, Sanders is the only candidate who's shown a significant gain. A Monmouth University poll also released Monday showed a gain for Clinton and found that Sanders' standing was relatively unchanged since before the debate. Both polls, however, show that Clinton continues to command a strong national lead. The HuffPost Pollster National chart shows Clinton ahead with 48 percent to Sanders' 25 percent.

The results underscore that polls this far ahead of Election Day are poor predictors of the eventual outcome and should be considered in combination with other factors in order to understand how the race is shaping up.

Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald surveyed 403 likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters Oct. 14 through 17. Suffolk University/Boston Globe surveyed 500 likely New Hampshire Democratic voters Oct. 14 through 15. Both polls conducted live interviews via landlines and cell phones. 


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