The Sanders surge isn't just his massive crowds. The new poll shows Bernie Sanders beating Clinton in New Hampshire 41 percent to 32 percent. The Vermont senator is up nine points from July when he was trailing the Democratic frontrunner.
Vice President Joe Biden, whose entry into the r
ace would further upend the Democratic field, is third with 16 percent.
Sanders spent the last three days blanketing Iowa and railing against Wall Street. Yesterday he said Clinton's "people are getting nervous about the kind of energy and enthusiasm" his campaign has generated.
After a summer marked by persistent questions about her private e-mail server while Secretary of State, Clinton's lead has also narrowed in Iowa. The 24-point advantage she had in July has been cut to just 11.
In New Hampshire on Saturday, Clinton brushed off a question about her declining popularity.
"Well I've always thought this was going to be a competitive primary and I welcome that. I think it's a contest of ideas, of policies, of how we present ourselves to the American people," she said.
Talk of a loss in early voting states harkens back to 2008. Clinton won New Hampshire, but President Barack Obama's earlier win in Iowa catapulted him to eventually secure the nomination.
She is determined to avoid a repeat. Instead of relying on the first two nominating contests, Clinton's campaign has a long-term strategy: To sweep South Carolina and a host of other Southern states on Super Tuesday in March.
As for Joe Biden, aides had said he'd make a decision by the end of September. But some close to him say he doesn't need to rush because the campaign has been so unpredictable that traditional rules have been thrown out the window. Others close to his camp say he should decide before the first debate in October.