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Sanders Outperforms Clinton in General Election Matchups in IA, NH

by Mark Murray /
Image: Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Holds Fundraiser In New York City
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), speaks at a fundraiser and reception at Town Hall September 18, 2015 in New York City. Sanders has been gaining ground on Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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Hillary Clinton has always been viewed as the Democrats’ best general-election candidate. But new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls of Iowa and New Hampshire show that Bernie Sanders outperforms Clinton in those two general-election battleground states.

In Iowa, Republican Jeb Bush leads Clinton by 10 points in a hypothetical general-election match up among registered voters, 50 percent to 40 percent, and Donald Trump is ahead of her by seven points, 48 percent to 41 percent – essentially unchanged from the poll’s results a month ago.

And Carly Fiorina leads Clinton in the Hawkeye State by 14 points, 52 percent to 38 percent.

Read the full Iowa poll here.

But when Sanders is matched up against these same Republicans, his numbers are stronger: Sanders leads Trump by five points in Iowa (48 percent to 43 percent). And he narrowly trails Bush (46 percent to 44 percent) and Fiorina (45 percent to 42 percent).

The same dynamic plays out in New Hampshire.

Clinton leads Trump in the Granite State (48 percent to 45 percent), but she’s behind Bush (49 percent to 42 percent) and Fiorina (50 percent to 42 percent).

Read the full New Hampshire poll here.

Yet Sanders has the advantage against both Trump (52 percent to 42 percent) and Fiorina (47 percent to 45 percent), and he’s tied against Bush in New Hampshire (46 percent to 46 percent).

The NBC/WSJ/Marist polls of Iowa and New Hampshire were conducted Sept. 23-30. In Iowa, 1,061 registered voters were interviewed (margin of error +/- 3.0 percentage points), and in New Hampshire, 1,044 registered voters were tested (+/- 3.0 percentage points).

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