HAMDEN — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton are running even in a new national poll tracking support for the Democratic presidential race.
Clinton garnered 44% to Sanders’ 42%, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday. A sizeable 11% say they are undecided.
The poll appears to signal a dramatic tightening of the Democratic race following Clinton’s razor-thin victory over Sanders in the Iowa caucuses. The previous Quinnipiac poll, released in late December, showed Clinton with a 31-point lead over Sanders.
National polls conducted before the Iowa caucuses showed the Democratic race tightening, but with Clinton still leading Sanders by double digits. CNN’s own national Poll of Polls from just before Iowa found Clinton at 53%, Sanders at 36% and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at 2%.
The Quinnipiac poll is one of the first national surveys released since the Iowa results, so it is important to note it could represent statistical noise — trends won’t be clear until more national polling emerges.
On the Republican side of the race, businessman Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio continue to hold the top three spots, respectively, though Rubio is narrowing the gap between him and the second place contender.
Trump tops the field with 31% of support, with Cruz and Rubio following at 22% and 19%, respectively, according to the Quinnipiac poll.
The poll appears to show a consolidating of the race, with the top three candidates now holding nearly three-quarters of support in what remains a crowded field of nine GOP candidates. In Quinnipiac’s late December poll, the three carried about two-thirds of support of Republican primary voters.
General election match-ups between the top Republican and Democratic candidates suggest Sanders and Rubio would be their party’s most competitive standard-bearers.
Sanders handily beats Trump by a 10-point margin, defeats Cruz by four points and ties Rubio, with each taking 43%, according to Quinnipiac.
Rubio is the only of the top three GOP candidates to defeat Clinton in the hypothetical match-up — by seven percentage points. Cruz ties Clinton in the hypothetical head-to-head.
The Quinnipiac poll also tosses former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg into the mix of general election match-ups between Sanders and Trump and Sanders and Cruz — the general election conditions that could reportedly draw Bloomberg into the presidential race.
The poll shows Bloomberg largely cutting into Sanders’ lead over Trump, bringing Sanders down to 35% to Trump’s 36%, with Bloomberg taking 15%. The results are identical for a Sanders-Cruz-Bloomberg matchup.