The first major primaries are just weeks away, and the country is increasingly feeling the Bern

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Last month, Hillary Clinton led Bernie Sanders in national polls by 20 percentage points, but numbers released this week by CBS News and The New York Times show Sanders closing that gap. As it stands right now, Clinton has the support of 48% of primary voters while Sanders is polling at 41%—a difference of just just seven percentage points. And as the Times notes, primary voters under the age of 45 are feeling the Bern most acutely, supporting Sanders by a nearly two-to-one ratio.

The primary race looks tight in New Hampshire and Iowa specifically, with other polls released this week showing Sanders with a significant lead in the Granite State (Monmouth University has the Vermont senator polling at 53% compared to Clinton's 39%) and climbing ahead in Iowa (Quinnipiac University found that 49% of likely Democratic caucusgoers say they're backing Sanders compared to 44% for Clinton).


Polls are weird, I know. There are secondary tiers of data that make all of this even more confusing, since some people pledging their support also say that they haven't totally made up their minds. Or the fact that around 70% of likely Democratic voters—including Sanders supporters—believe that Clinton will ultimately get the nomination. And, you know, there's the fact that not a single vote has actually been cast anywhere in the country.

But there are just 19 days until the Iowa caucuses and 27 days until the New Hampshire primary, and the Democratic primary is looking tighter than ever, with two candidates (sorry, Martin O'Malley) trying to make a case to a Democratic electorate that seems split, ultimately, on the candidate they want to see on their ticket.


This is going to be an interesting few months.