From the New York Times:
Updated, 12:46 p.m. | Senator Bernie Sanders is breaking away from Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and is edging ahead of her in Iowa, according to new polls that show him solidifying the support of Democrats ahead the first two 2016 presidential primary election contests.
The polls add to mounting pressure on Mrs. Clinton, who was seen for months as an overwhelming favorite in the race, to avoid another upset from an insurgent Democratic challenger after her 2008 loss to Senator Barack Obama for the party’s nomination.
A survey from Quinnipiac University found that 49 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa are planning to back Mr. Sanders while 44 percent support Mrs. Clinton. The results represent a shift from a month ago, when the former secretary of state was leading Mr. Sanders by 11 percentage points. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
“Iowa may well become Senator Bernie Sanders’s ‘Field of Dreams,’” said Peter A. Brown, director of the Quinnipiac poll. “After three months of Secretary Hillary Clinton holding an average 10-point lead among Iowa Democrats, the playing field has changed.”
Earlier polls suggested that Democrats intended to vote for Clinton despite their misgivings about her honesty. According to Quinnipiac University,
Sen. Sanders’ surge seems based on the perception by Iowa Democrats that he is a better fit for Iowans. They see him, by solid double digit margins as more sharing their values, more honest and trustworthy and viewed more favorably overall than is Secretary Clinton.”
“Iowa likely Democratic Caucus-goers see Sanders as better able to handle the economy and climate change, two important issues for Democrats and a key asset for him in the home stretch,” Brown added.
“The Democratic race is different than the GOP contest because it lacks a divisive tone. Iowa Democrats like both major candidates personally; they just like Sen. Sanders more.
And back to New Hampshire, the Times continues:
Perhaps more worrying for Mrs. Clinton is the finding that a majority of New Hampshire voters said that their choice is set, while only 35 percent were completely decided two months ago.
“New Hampshire Democratic preferences are getting baked in, with Sanders gaining the upper hand,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement. “The final question will be who does a better job at turning out their respective voting blocs.”
Mr. Sanders is now leading Mrs. Clinton among all the major voting blocs in New Hampshire. According to Tuesday’s survey, he has overtaken her with female voters — a core constituency for the former secretary of state who would be the first female president. And he is also leading her among independent voters and with registered Democrats.
Get out the popcorn…