The latest on the presidential horse race.

Pre-Debate CNN Poll Has Clinton at the Top of the Democrats

The Democrats are set to host their first major debate on Tuesday. The platform will likely be dominated by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. A recent CNN/ORC poll put Clinton at the top of the Democrats in a Nevada caucus and South Carolina poll.

Nevada Caucus

  • Hillary Clinton – 50%
  • Bernie Sanders – 34%
  • Joe Biden – 12%

South Carolina

  • Hillary Clinton – 49%
  • Bernie Sanders – 24%
  • Joe Biden – 18%

Clinton cleaned up in both polls, but Sanders still performed respectably in the Nevada poll. Sanders biggest strength, and a focal point of the upcoming debate, will be his commitment to progressive values and how he was willing to take a stance on important issues far earlier than Clinton did. For much of the election coverage, Clinton remained silent, unwilling to take a stance. Another wildcard for the Democrats is Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to announce his campaign. Having extensive experience in the White House, Biden would easily be able to challenge both Clinton and Sanders.

In South Carolina, Clinton came out with a near double-digit lead over Sanders. If Sanders wants to win the Democratic nomination, he will need to convince voters in states that he is unpopular in that he is a better candidate than Clinton.

The future of both of the Democrats top candidates will be heavily influenced by their performance in Tuesday’s debate. A successful performance by Sanders could see him leapfrog Clinton in the standings and become the top candidate.

Photo credit: Alternet.