New national Dem poll: Bernie 47, Hillary 46

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday April 07th, 2016

20-point lead gone.

This is not exactly what you'd call sealing the deal. Far from winning over Democrat primary voters as the campaign goes on, Hillary is hemmorhaging supporters and doing so badly. A mere three months ago, national polls showed her 20 points ahead of doddering, wild-eyed socialist Bernie Sanders. Today?

He's not only erased her entire advantage, he's taken the lead:

Hillary Clinton may have amassed a nearly insurmountable lead in delegates, but rank-and-file Democrats are now virtually split between her and Bernie Sanders over which candidate should be their party’s presidential nominee, according to a new PRRI / The Atlantic poll.

Sanders had the support of 47 percent of Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters while Clinton had 46 percent—a narrow gap that fell within the poll’s 2.5 percent margin of error. The national survey was conducted in the days before the Vermont senator handily defeated the former secretary of state in the Wisconsin primary, and it tracks other polls in the last week that found Sanders erasing Clinton’s edge across the country. In a poll that PRRI conducted in January, Clinton had a 20-point lead.

Democrats are sharply divided by age and by party loyalty. Sanders is strongly preferred by younger voters, both women and men, while Clinton does better with older voters and those who closely identify with the Democratic Party. Sanders, by contrast, runs strong among weaker partisans and independents—a finding that has also been reflected in exit polls taken after people have already cast their votes.

The gap in party loyalty might explain why Clinton has been highlighting Sanders’s tenuous past connection to the Democratic Party in recent days. “He’s a relatively new Democrat,” Clinton told Politico’s Glenn Thrush in a podcast interview published on Wednesday. “I’m not even sure he is one.” She repeated the message in two separate television interviews later in the morning. “Senator Sanders, by his own admission, has never even been a Democrat,” she said on CNN. Sanders describes himself as a Democratic socialist and has won election in Vermont as an independent, although he caucuses with Democrats in the Senate. He considered running for president as an independent before determining he had a better chance of spreading his message in the Democratic primary.

Clinton has a 21-point advantage among Democrats with a strong attachment to the party, the poll found, while Sanders leads 61 percent to 32 percent among Democratic-leaning independents.

That last paragraph is the most telling. Most of Hillary's supporters are elected officials, party officials and people who put in serious time in Democratic Party politics. Your average person who is not a political professional but has liberal views is for Sanders. And that's the thing reason she will probably end up as the nominee even though she's on a spectacular losing streak and she's falling behind in the national polls.

Those connected party professionals are the superdelegates whose convention votes are not determined by primary and caucus results. They know perfectly well that the average person doesn't like Hillary and doesn't want her to be president. But they're convinced that a doddering, wild-eyed socialist cannot win in November, so they're biting down hard and backing Hillary as what they think is their only plausible option to retain the presidency for the Democrats.

National polls are not how parties pick their nominees, of course, but what this shows is that the recent Sanders winning streak is not just an accident of the demographics in the states that came up on the calendar. It represents the continued widespread rejection of Hillary by people who can see what an utter fraud she is. Sadly, these people are probably not going to get the last word. Hopefully the voters who go to the polls in November will prevent us all from having to listen to this shrieking horror show for another blood-curdling four years.

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