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Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign event at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa
Bernie Sanders listens to a question from the audience during a campaign event at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa on Jan. 8, 2016 Scott Morgan—Reuters

Sanders Overtakes Clinton in Iowa Poll

Jan 12, 2016

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders overtook former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an Iowa poll Tuesday.

According to a survey of likely caucus-goers by Quinnipiac University, 49% back Sanders, 44% are in favor of Clinton and 4% back former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. This is the end of a months-long lead for Clinton in Iowa, the first state in the nominating process for the presidency. Clinton led Sanders by 11 percentage points in the last Quinnipiac poll, which was released in mid-December.

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“After three months of Secretary Hillary Clinton holding an average 10-point lead among Iowa Democrats, the playing field has changed," said Peter A. Brown assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll in a statement. “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 Senator Sanders more."

A divide among Iowa voters highlights a growing gender gap between the candidates: Men back Sanders 61% to Clinton's 30%, while women back Clinton 55% to Sander's 39%. But there was some good news for Clinton, who has made electability a key part of her campaign argument.

Read More: Clinton Makes Risky Bet on Electability in New Hampshire

Some 85% of likely caucus-goers believe that Clinton can win the November general election, while only 68% think the same of Sanders.

The survey was conducted Jan. 5-10 by polling 492 likely Iowa caucus participants with a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

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