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Sanders on Clinton's heels in Wisconsin straw poll

Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, finished a close second to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a 2016 straw poll of Wisconsin Democrats this weekend, garnering 208 votes to Clinton's 252.

The straw poll was conducted at the Wisconsin Democratic Party's 2015 convention. There were 511 ballots cast.

Is Bernie Sanders a suitable challenger to Hillary Clinton?

Clinton and Sanders dominated the results, getting 90 percent of the total vote. Vice President Joe Biden, who has not said whether he will run for president, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has entered the race, tied for third place with 16 votes each. Former Sen. Jim Webb, another potential candidate, was next with eight votes. Lincoln Chafee, a former Rhode Island governor and senator and onetime Republican, rounded out the field with five votes.

There were also four write-in votes for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has repeatedly said she is not running for president, and one for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Bernie Sanders says he can beat Hillary Clinton

Sanders has insisted that he entered the race because he believes he can beat Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

"There is, in my view, massive dissatisfaction in this country today with corporate establishment and the greed of corporate America and the incredibly unequal distribution of wealth and income, which currently exists," he said last month on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Sanders has been hesitant to criticize Clinton, saying that he respects and admires her. But pressed on the question of why he would make a better Democratic nominee, he points to three things: his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership, a massive Asia-Pacific trade agreement being negotiated, his vote against the war in Iraq and his leadership fighting against it, and the work he has done opposing the Keystone XL pipeline.

Clinton, meanwhile, has steered clear of talking about her Democratic opponents and instead has ramped up her criticism of the Republican field. Last week, she accused four current and former GOP governors of seeking to suppress turnout among young and minority voters.

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