Oct 20, 2015 11:14 PM

Steinhauser: New NH1 News Poll of Polls indicates Sanders and Clinton tied in NH; Biden a distant third

NH1 Political Director -

CONCORD – A new NH1 News Poll of Polls indicates the race between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont for the Democratic presidential nomination is all tied up in New Hampshire.

And the survey also suggests that Vice President Joe Biden would be a distant third to Clinton and Sanders in New Hampshire if he decides to run for president.

The latest edition of the poll of polls, compiled and released on Tuesday, averages the four public opinion surveys of likely Granite State Democratic primary voters conducted entirely after the first Democratic presidential debate, which was held one week ago in Las Vegas.

Clinton won rave reviews for her performance in the showdown, and she’s received a boost in the polls. Sanders led in all polling in New Hampshire from the beginning of August until the debate. But Clinton is on top in two of the four post-debates surveys in the Granite State.

According to the NH1 News Poll of Polls, Sanders is at 37%, with Clinton at 36%, which means the race is basically all knotted up. Biden is far behind, at 13%. The Vice President reportedly will announce this week whether he’s launching a third White House bid.

Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley had a well-received debate performance, but so far it doesn’t appear to be boosting his poll numbers. He’s at two percent in the poll of polls, with former Rhode Island governor and senator Lincoln Chafee at one percent. Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb is not included in the poll. He ended his bid for the Democratic nomination on Tuesday, while leaving opening the door for an independent campaign for president.

Watch: Biden's New Hampshire challenge

It’s not just polling that would make New Hampshire a tough challenge for Biden, should he announce for president. Clinton has a large and strong campaign structure in the Granite State, and has the backing of many of the state’s leading Democratic elected officials. And Sanders’ campaign has grown dramatically in the past two months, and now almost equals Clinton’s in size. Sanders also enjoys enthusiastic and energetic backing from his New Hampshire supporters.

“I think the challenges are mounting. The window of opportunity has been open but I think it’s closing a little bit each day,” state Sen. Andrew Hosmer told NH1 News.

“There’s less and less room every day he day he waits because certainly people are getting really excited about a number of campaigns. People who were sitting on the sidelines are making a move,” added Hosmer, who is currently not backing a presidential candidate.

But state Rep. Steve Shurtleff, the Democratic state House leader and a supporter of Biden in the then-Delaware senator’s 2008 presidential campaign, told NH1 News “I think there are still a lot of undeclared Democrats in New Hampshire and I think Joe Biden might appeal to them.”

Read: Biden allies ready to roll out NH campaign operation if VP announces bid

The four surveys included in the NH1 News Poll of Polls are Bloomberg/Saint Anselm/Purple Strategies (Oct. 15-18); PPP (Oct 16-18); Boston Herald/Franklin Pierce University (Oct. 14-17); and Boston Globe/Suffolk University (Oct. 14-15).

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