CNN/ORC just released a new poll of likely Nevada caucus goers, and once again, the biggest surprises come on the Democrat side, where evidence is mounting that Bernie Sanders’ candidacy may be much more of a threat to Hillary than previously believed.
There’s reason to take both of these polls with a healthy grain of salt, however; their sample sizes are extremely small (less than 300 likely caucus goers in both polls) and were conducted over a 6-day period, which means that CNN/ORC was collecting less than 50 responses a day. The margin of error is accordingly +/- 6.5 points which a) is probably understated and b) means that even if it’s not understated, this poll isn’t worth a tremendous amount as a predictive matter.
But hey, we work with what we have, and what we have in Nevada right now is this poll. On the Democrat side, it’s an absolute nail-biter, with Hillary barely leading Bernie, 48-47. Chatter in the Democratic camps seems to indicate that the campaigns’ own internal polling indicates that Bernie might actually be ahead in Nevada, a state that was previously thought to be safely in Hillary’s pocket. The state of the race in this contest is one of the main reasons that the Hillary Campaign is in full-blown panic mode right now.
On the Republican side, Trump is up big, with 45% support, followed by Rubio at 19, Cruz at 17, Carson at 7, Kasich at 5, and Bush at 1 (!). However, with a margin of error this large on the Republican side, pretty much the only thing we can say with any level of certainty is that Trump is ahead. The rest of the poll is pretty much garbage except for campaign PR purposes.