Bernie Sanders now leads Hillary Clinton in both of the key battleground states of Iowa and New Hampshire, offering new evidence that the Democratic primary race is closer than ever before.
Sanders has the support of 49 percent of Iowa caucus participants, 4 points above Clinton’s 44 percent, according to a new poll by Quinnpaiac University, which had Clinton up by 11 point in their poll last month.
“After three months of Secretary Hillary Clinton holding an average 10-point lead among Iowa Democrats, the playing field has changed,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement.
The Vermont Senator also made significant gains in New Hampshire, where he has a 53 to 39 lead among primary voters, according to a new poll by Monmouth University. In November, the same poll showed that Clinton had a 3 point lead in New Hampshire, 48 to 45 percent.
With a month left before the primary in New Hampshire, a majority of primary voters said that they’ve already made up their minds who to vote for, with Sanders supporters more certain that they won’t change their mind than Clinton voters, 55 to 49 percent.
“New Hampshire Democratic preferences are getting baked in, with Sanders gaining the upper hand,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in statement.
Nation-wide, Clinton still has a solid lead over Sanders among Democratic primary voters, 52 to 37 percent, according to a new NBC News/Survey Monkey poll. But victory in the early primary states could give Sanders significant momentum in the other state primaries.