Bernie Sanders is leading Hillary in North Carolina by 5 points

Bernie Sanders is leading Hillary in North Carolina by 5 points

Daniel Turner: Democratic embrace of Sanders’ energy and environment policies could bring defeat in election

This article is more than 6 years old

This article is more than 6 years old

The Clinton campaign team must be delighted to wake to the first polls that suggest voters are warming to Bernie Sanders.

He is leading Hillary in North Carolina, the site of Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate in the first-in-the-South primary, by 5 points (31-28) with some of North Carolina’s biggest newspapers calling the race for Clinton on Tuesday.

The RealClearPolitics poll average in North Carolina gives Sanders a slight edge with 31.9% and Clinton 28.1%. Polling guru Nate Silver agrees with me.

Sanders was even better in Virginia on Saturday, winning the endorsement of the state party leader and leading Clinton by 11 points (44-37).

Clinton and Sanders have largely agreed on the need to put a halt to the fossil-fuel industry in order to protect the environment. Yet a survey in early September from the Des Moines Register showed many voters are uneasy about Sanders because of the very real threat of climate change to the U.S.

The next day, the former secretary of state and her aides were forced by the Des Moines Register to declare that she would not pledge not to raise taxes on the wealthy or to cut Medicare to pay for her plan to address climate change.

A major problem for Clinton: her advisers are too close to the Clinton fundraising operation and in Iowa, the only state with a Democratic caucus system – the only state with a closed primary system – the Sanders group is raising money there and in Vermont.

If Sanders wins the Iowa caucuses on February 3, he could well make the endorsement of the Democratic Party and caucus process that are key to his eventual goal of winning the nomination. Clinton, on the other hand, would certainly face challenges from Bernie, but would also have help from her husband Bill’s fundraising and the Clintons’ relationship with the Democratic National Committee.

Both Clintons would benefit from running on a progressive platform that would appeal to voters who have been increasingly angry with the financial status quo.

But as with her loss to Barack Obama in 2008,

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