Hillary Clinton’s supporters and those involved in her campaign are getting nervous after a new poll revealed Bernie Sanders pulled within two percentage points in Iowa, according to a new report.
The former secretary of state’s backers are reliving the nightmare that the last primary turned into.
“I still have 2008 PTSD, and I’m feeling a lot of it right now,” one Iowa Clinton loyalist who has been involved in both campaigns told Mashable. “These polls have closed up. His fervent support is not something she’s matching… Things seem to be a little off the rails.”
Backers are divided on what to do, with some wanting her to highlight her biography more and soften her image while others want her to try larger events to match Sanders’s energy.
“She’s not doing the big rallies because she can’t get the big crowds,” said the Iowa Clinton ally. “Maybe people are too anxious over this, and that anxiety is spilling over into cautiousness and overthinking decisions. Everyone’s on edge given how much we’ve invested in Iowa.”
The Washington Post said that Clinton does have a reason to be nervous, with trend lines also showing Sanders gaining ground nationally.
“There are warning signs almost everywhere she looks that suggest that the Vermont socialist is gaining momentum at exactly the worst moment for Clinton’s chances at winning the nomination,” wrote Chris Cillizza. “Losing Iowa and New Hampshire, which now seems possible if not likely, is a nightmare scenario for Clinton.”
One poll this week, from Monmouth University, showed Sanders ahead 14 points in New Hampshire. A Des Moines Register poll showed Clinton ahead in Iowa by two points, but a Quinnipiac poll showed Sanders up five points among likely caucusgoers in the state. And a CBS/New York Times poll showed Clinton’s lead nationally dropping from 20 to 7.
John Davis, Clinton backer who was former Rep. Bruce Braley’s (D-Iowa) chief of staff, noted that Sanders rise seems to mirror Barack Obama’s surge last time around.
“I have a buddy who was with Obama last time who has been sending around links to recent stories and polling data that read the exact same as at this point in 2007 and 2008,” he said.
Clinton herself says she isn’t anxious.
“No, I’m not nervous at all,” she told Today. “I’m working hard, and I intend to keep working as hard as I can until the last vote or caucus-goer expresses an opinion. I’m excited about where we are.”