DES MOINES, Iowa – There was fresh evidence on Sunday that confirms Bernie Sanders would be the most electable Democratic Party nominee for president because he performs much better than Hillary Clinton in matchups with leading Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire, two key general election battleground states.
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll found that Sanders does better than Clinton against the leading Republican candidates by an average of 6 points in Iowa and a stunning 21 points in New Hampshire. Specifically, the poll put Sanders 13 points ahead of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump here in Iowa. In New Hampshire, Sanders had an even bigger 19-point lead over the real estate tycoon. In contrast, Clinton led Trump by only 1 point in New Hampshire. Her 8-point margin over Trump in Iowa was much smaller than Sanders’ edge.
Sanders also outpolled U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in Iowa (up 5 points) and New Hampshire (up 19 points). Clinton lost to Cruz by 4 points in both states.
Clinton also was 12 points behind Sen. Marco Rubio in New Hampshire and 5 points down to him in Iowa. In sharp contrast, Sanders beat Rubio by 9 points in New Hampshire and tied him in Iowa.
In Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Tuesday, Clinton said Democratic Party caucus-goers should consider “electability” in choosing their nominee. Sanders agreed.The poll also showed Sanders ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire, 50 percent to 46 percent, and gaining ground in Iowa, where Clinton barely led Sanders, 48 percent to 45 percent.
“Any objective look at our campaigns would suggest we have the energy, we can drive a large voter turnout,” the senator said in an interview Sunday with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News “This Week.”
“As voters move toward their final choice in Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s clear they are moving heavily to Bernie,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. “Bernie’s message of taking on a rigged economy that sends most new wealth to the top and is held in place by corrupt system of campaign finance is resonating powerfully with voters all across America.”
“And Bernie’s substantial advantage over Republicans in the general election versus Secretary Clinton is another important reason that Democratic primary voters should choose him as our nominee,” Weaver added.
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll is the most recent in a string of national and state surveys that found Sanders “runs markedly better than Clinton” against Trump, Cruz, according to a memo by Sanders’ pollster Ben Tulchin. To read his memo analyzing the polls, click here.