NEW YORK – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appears to be closing the gap against Hillary Clinton as the April 19 Democratic presidential primary approaches, while developer Donald Trump is maintaining his big lead among Republicans in the state.
Those are the key findings of a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday – the first New York primary poll to be released in two weeks, and the most in-depth yet.
The new poll shows Clinton, a former New York senator and secretary of state, leading Sanders by margin of 54 to 42 percent, with a 3.7 percent margin of error. The most recent poll before that, conducted by Emerson College, surveyed less than half as many voters as the Quinnipiac poll and showed Clinton up by a whopping 48 points.
“Anyone paying attention on the ground will tell you Bernie’s momentum is real,” said Bill Lipton, state director of the Working Families Party, which has endorsed Sanders, a democratic socialist who is running to the left of Clinton.
Meanwhile on the Republican side, Trump leads with 56 percent, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas with 20 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 19 percent, with a 4.6 percent margin of error. The Quinnipiac poll of 1,667 New York voters was taken between March 22 and 29, before the arrest of Trump’s campaign manager on a battery charge and before Trump’s controversial comment that women who have an abortion should be punished – a comment he promptly retracted.
The poll also showed either Clinton or Sanders handily defeating Trump or any other Republican in heavily Democratic New York State in the November election.