It was surprising that a Google Consumer Surveys poll conducted for Independent Journal (IJ.com) showing Senator Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton narrowly, 38.4% to 37.6%, a virtual tie, didn’t get more media attention. Granted, the poll seems like an outlier at the moment as other national polls have had the Democratic frontrunner leading the insurgent Sanders by an average of 16.6% points, with Bloomberg (8%) and NBC/Wall Street Journal (7%) showing the closest margin.
Additionally, the methodology of Google Consumer Surveys is certainly unconventional as the poll utilizes respondents that agree to answer optional surveys at websites they are visiting. While the unique online survey process may seem unreliable to some, statistician Nate Silver ranked Google Consumer Surveys as the 2nd most reliable and unbiased poll in predicting the 2012 presidential election. From Independent Journal:
Sanders similarly leads among men polled, with 38.1% to Clinton’s 34.6%, trailed by Biden at 15.6%. But the liberal firebrand trails Clinton among women, 41.8% to 39.5%, with Biden at 11.8%.
The poll’s sample was 50.1% male and 46.1% female, with 3.8% saying they’d prefer not to reply. 67.3% of the sample identified as White, 11.3% Black or African-American, 7.9% Hispanic, 4% Asian, 2.2% Middle Eastern or North African, 2.1% American Indian or Alaska Native and 1.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. 20.8% of respondents listed that they were some other race or ethnicity.
Clinton, who at one point enjoyed a roughly 50 percentage point lead in the race, still retains a commanding lead in the RealClearPolitics average of polls, outpacing Sanders by more than 16 percentage points for the period from Sept. 17 to Oct. 4.
But Sanders has made massive progress in the past six months:
It will be very interesting to see the next round of polls following the first Democratic debate on October 13th. Hopefully, the candidates will have an opportunity to explain their different approaches to federal marijuana policy and the Greater Drug War. Bernie Sanders has been continually gaining in the polls as voters learn more about him, but this will be the first of just 6 times that he gets to share the stage with Hillary Clinton.
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