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Two N.H. polls show Sanders in striking distance of Clinton

By James Pindell Globe Staff 

Two new surveys of New Hampshire voters show Senator Bernie Sanders within a dozen points of former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary.

On Tuesday, a Suffolk University poll gave Clinton a 10-point lead, 41 percent to 31 percent, over the senator from Vermont. A day earlier, a new poll from the Washington-based Morning Consult gave Clinton a 12-point lead over Sanders, 44 percent to 32 percent.

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Just a few months ago, polls from other outlets showed Clinton leading the Democratic field in New Hampshire with support from more than 50 percent of the respondents.

“Most political observers felt that Hillary Clinton’s large early lead among Democratic voters would eventually shrink a bit over time,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said in a statement. “But in New Hampshire right now, the lead has shrunk a lot, and this is a much different Democratic primary race than we are seeing in other states so far.”

The poll results come days after Clinton held a large rally in New York City to herald the official kickoff to her campaign. Meanwhile, Sanders has been drawing huge crowds in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that start the presidential nominating season next year.

The Suffolk poll showed one area of strength for Clinton: women. Clinton leads Sanders, 47 percent to 28 percent, among female voters. But Sanders leads Clinton among men by 3 points. The Suffolk poll of 500 likely Democratic voters was taken June 11 to 15. The margin of error was 4.4 percent.

Also in the Suffolk poll, Vice President Joe Biden scored 7 percent, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley received 3 percent, and former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee and former senator Jim Webb tied at 1 percent.

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In the Morning Consult survey, Biden received 8 percent, while O’Malley, Webb and Chafee lagged behind. That poll, Morning Consult’s first in New Hampshire, interviewed 279 self-identified Democratic primary voters using online and phone surveys. It had a margin of error of 6 percentage points.


James Pindell can be reached at James.Pindell@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell.