Bernie Sanders has passed Hillary Clinton at the top of a national poll for the first time in the 2016 race. A Fox News poll of the Democratic presidential race released Thursday shows Sanders with 47 percent support to Clinton’s 44 percent.
That's a gain of 10 percentage points for Sanders a January version of the poll. Clinton's support declined 5 points.
Clinton posted leads as high as 30 points over the summer, but Sanders has been steadily closing the gap. While no other poll of the race going back to 2014 has ever showed Clinton trailing a rival, she led Sanders by just 2 points in the last two Quinnipiac University tracking polls.
It's unclear whether the numbers are outliers or indicative of a dramatic change in the race. Outside of the Quinnipiac poll, Clinton posted double-digit leads in all three national polls conducted in February, with the largest lead coming in at 21 percentage points.
“One thing that is clear from our poll — and others — is that Clinton has been losing support and Sanders has been gaining,” said Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who assisted Fox News on the poll.
“And this process appears to have accelerated since the contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.”
Fox released the poll two days before Saturday's caucuses in Nevada, a state where Clinton has also seen a major lead evaporate. A CNN/ORC poll from this week found the White House hopefuls essentially tied there.
The Democratic establishment had long viewed Clinton as the inevitable nominee, but anxiety is growing, with some fearful that the campaign is slipping away from her.