Clinton on Sanders’ surge: ‘I’m not nervous at all’

Hillary Clinton listens to a question during a town hall forum in Iowa City's Old Brick Church on Dec. 16, 2015. -- photo by Adam Burke
Hillary Clinton listens to a question during a town hall forum in Iowa City’s Old Brick Church on Dec. 16, 2015. — photo by Adam Burke

Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday morning that she’s “not nervous” about the recent gains by her opponent in Iowa. She was asked on NBC’s Today show about Bernie Sanders’ surge as indicated by several recent polls.

“I’m working hard, and I intend to keep working as hard as I can until the last vote or caucus-goer expresses an opinion. I’m excited about where we are,” she told Today show interviewer Savannah Guthrie.

Clinton held a 20-point lead over Sanders in a Quinnipiac University poll taken a month ago, but now the same poll puts Sanders at plus-five.

A RealClearPolitics average of recent polls has the race nearly tied, with Clinton at +0.2 percent over Sanders. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley trails both candidates, with support from five percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers.

Clinton said the candidates were past the introduction stage of the campaigns and it was time to “draw contrasts” between them. “The contrast on substantive issues between me and Sen. Sanders pales in comparison between us and Republicans, but there are substantive differences. I think it’s only fair that the voters know what the differences are,” she said.

She has gone on the attack recently, calling attention to Sanders’ votes on gun control and his health care policies.

In 2008, Clinton was the apparent leader for months in Iowa, until an insurgent Barack Obama trumped her at the wire. She finished third that year behind Obama and John Edwards.

The Democratic and Republican caucuses will be held on Feb. 1 across the state.

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