Bernie Sanders appears to have widened his lead over Hillary Clinton in Iowa less than two weeks before the Democratic caucus is held there.
Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, currently holds the support of 51 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in the state, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Thursday. Clinton, in comparison, maintains 43 percent of the vote.
This indicates a substantial increase in Sanders’ support since the same question was asked late last year. Clinton led Sanders 54 to 36 percent when likely Iowa caucus-goers were surveyed between November 28 and December 6, 2015.
The most current survey, conducted between January 15 and 20, also found that a majority of Democratic voters in Iowa say that they have made up their minds on who to vote for come February.
Earlier this month, a Quinnipiac University poll showed that Sanders had a slight five-percentage-point lead over Clinton in Iowa. Widely considered to be the likely nominee, Clinton is also trailing Sanders in New Hampshire, another key early voting state.
Clinton’s campaign has been intensifying its attacks on Sanders in recent weeks, as his poll numbers have risen. Sanders has pointed to the attacks as evidence that the campaign is "in serious trouble."
The new year has also brought fresh developments in the controversy surrounding the former secretary of state’s use of private email. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that an intelligence review had concluded that some of Clinton’s emails contained intelligence from the government’s highly classified "special access programs," which is more sensitive than "top secret" information.