The Democratic nomination contest is tightening in early primary states. A Jan. 10 Quinnipiac University poll shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Iowa, 49%-44%. He also enjoys a double-digit lead in New Hampshire in both a Jan. 10 Monmouth University poll (53%-39%) and a Jan. 7 Fox News poll (50%-37%).
Mrs. Clinton’s problem is, in part, because she is struggling to capture young voters. She trails Sanders 29%-64% among voters under 45 year olds in Iowa and trails 33%-66% in New Hampshire in Jan. 7 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist University polls of likely Democratic caucus-goers and primary voters. A Jan. 7 Fox News national poll says only 31% of likely Democratic primary voters under 45 would like to see Mrs. Clinton as the party’s nominee, compared to 63% who prefer Sanders.
If Mrs. Clinton wins the nomination, her standing with younger voters would need to improve before the general election. In the 2008 general election, then-Sen. Barak Obama swept the youth vote, taking 66% of 18-29 year olds and 52% of 30-44 year olds. It is unlikely Mrs. Clinton can replicate this winning Obama coalition without improving her support among millennials.