Part of the news coming out of the latest NBC/Marist poll isn’t going to come as much of a surprise. In a robust survey taken between August 26 and September 2 with nearly 1,000 participants in Iowa and New Hampshire, the headlines for Hillary Clinton are just great… if she’s actually thinking about just retiring to spend more time with her new granddaughter. Bernie Sanders is beating her up pretty badly in New Hampshire no matter who you include in the list of contenders. (NBC News)
In New Hampshire, the Vermont senator gets the support of 41 percent of Democratic voters, Clinton gets 32 percent and Vice President Joe Biden gets 16 percent. No other Democratic candidate receives more than 1 percent…
Without Biden in the race, Sanders’ lead over Clinton in the current survey increases to 11 points, 49 percent to 38 percent.
The trend continues in Iowa, where Hillary is hanging on to her previous lead, but it’s slipping further away every week.
In Iowa, Clinton maintains her previous advantage over Sanders – but her lead has declined from 24 points in July (49 percent to 25 percent) to 11 points (38 percent to 27 percent); Biden sits at 20 percent.
The full results for New Hampshire are here and the Iowa results are here. The curious thing here is the Biden effect. I think there was an assumption that he would draw from the “establishment Democrats” pool of voters rather than the Elizabeth Warren wing, but Bernie seems to be haunting Hillary strongly whether Uncle Joe is in the race or out.
In other words, the Democrat primary doesn’t seem to be doing anything unexpected. But the numbers for potential general election match-ups are where it gets interesting. Remember when I told you about that SurveyUSA poll and said that we would need to see some other, big, deep surveys showing Trump beating Hillary before we got too excited? Well, this isn’t a national survey, obviously, but given the differences between Iowa and New Hampshire they offer a fairly good spread. And guess what? The Hillary vs Donald general election battle still isn’t looking very good for the former First Lady.
[T]he NBC/Marist polls find that Jeb Bush and Donald Trump both beat Clinton in Iowa:
Bush 50 percent, Clinton 39 percent
Trump 48 percent, Clinton 43 percent.
But Biden performs better:
Bush 46 percent, Biden 44 percent
Biden 49 percent, Trump 45 percent
In New Hampshire, the general-election numbers are:
Bush 48 percent, Clinton 43 percent
Clinton 46 percent, Trump 45 percent
Bush 46 percent, Biden 45 percent
Biden 50 percent, Trump 41 percent.
So just as a reminder, this isn’t national. It’s just two states, but ones which can be fairly indicative since they represent two significantly different slices of the general electorate. Trump can win Iowa against Hillary and is in a statistical tie in New Hampshire. This adds a lot of credence to the SurveyUSA numbers, albeit zoomed down to a pair of microcosms. But even more curious is the fact that Bush seems to be doing even better in both states. That wouldn’t hold up in a lot of the South where Trump seems to be cleaning up, of course, but there’s apparently still some juice in the Bush battery. Biden is also surprisingly strong, but personally I think it’s becoming less and less likely that he’s going to jump in.
Bottom line: the Summer of Trump looks to be heading into the Autumn of Trump. And barring something changing radically we’re going to be looking at your Winter of Trump Discontent as well. Give us a couple more polls like this after the next debate and it’s going to be closing in on the time when everyone needs to accept that Trump not only could be the GOP nominee, but that he’s probably the odds on favorite.