Which candidate do young women like the most this election cycle? The oldest guy in the race. Bernie Sanders’ resonance with Millennial women is not a new phenomenon in the 2016 race, but his traction with the crucial voting bloc seems to be expanding. According to a new poll of Democratic and independent women, ages 18-34, Sanders leads Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in a landslide. He tallies 50 percent support among the group to Clinton’s 31 percent. It’s a demographic that conventional wisdom suggests should easily go to Clinton rather than a 74-year-old man who’s a self-avowed socialist. In fact, the trend of voters favoring Sanders over Clinton is even more broad than Millennials. A New York Times/CBS News poll released this week shows Clinton’s once 20-point lead has slipped to just seven points. In Iowa, the race is even closer, with Clinton clinging to just a two-point lead over Sanders, within the poll’s margin of error. This chart shows her support in polls in Iowa is following an even more ominous path than what happened eight years ago. And it’s not just the Hawkeye state where trouble is brewing for Clinton. One poll released this week shows Sanders is pulling away from Clinton in New Hampshire, where he enjoys 53 percent support to Clinton’s 39 percent.
The poll of 18-34-year-old women also shows that the younger those voters are, the more likely they are to support Sanders. But that raises the question of whether Sanders can actually mobilize that support and get those young supporters, notoriously unreliable about going to the polls, out to vote for him in caucuses and primaries. The first test is just about two weeks away in Iowa, and the answer may to it may lie in some recent history: what Barack Obama was able to do there in 2008.
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