Washington, Feb 20: Senator Bernie Sanders, who has now emerged as top contender for Democratic nomination.
According to a poll conducted by the Fox news, Vermont Senator Sanders witnessed a sharp rise in number voters who support him while former secretary of state Hillary Clinton noticed a downfall of 5 percent. Clinton gets 44 percent, down from 49 percent a month ago.
This is the first time Sanders has been ahead of Clinton, who not long ago was regularly described as the "presumptive Democratic nominee."
Clinton led Sanders in the Fox poll by as many as 46 points last summer, and had a 22-point lead as recently as two months ago.
The poll reveals that Clinton has started losing support while Sanders has been gaining. "This development noticed after contests in Iowa and New Hampshire," said Democratic pollster Chris Anderson.
Sanders uprise has not come as surprise to Republican pollster Daron Shaw.
"Historically, lesser-known candidates beating establishment candidates in early contests have seen the biggest boost in their national support," said Daron Shaw.
This opinion poll was jointly conducted by Shaw and Anderson.
"Blue-collar, white Democrats have been a major source of Clinton's defection," said Shaw.
Sanders also outperformed Clinton in a hypothetical matchup against Republican front-runner Donald Trump.
Since Sanders enjoy larger lead over Trump than Clinton so independents are more likely to go for Sanders over Trump (54 vs. 33) than for her (43 vs. 39), added the poll.
Sanders also does better against Trump in a potential three-way matchup if former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were to jump into the race. Under that scenario, it's Sanders 46 percent vs. Trump at 35 percent with Bloomberg taking 12 percent. If the Democratic candidate is Clinton, she gets 39 to Trump's 37 percent and Bloomberg receives 17 percent.
Many of the respondents of poll feels that they would feel either extremely or very satisfied if Sanders wins the presidency while Clinton managed to get only 24 percent. Only 21 percent of them find themselves satisfied if Trump gets elected as president, and Jeb Bush managed to get only 15 percent vote share when it came to satisfaction.
"On the flip side, Sanders has the smallest number -- 37 percent -- saying they would be "not at all" satisfied if he wins the White House. Fifty-five percent would feel "not at all" satisfied if Trump wins, 49 percent for Clinton, and 45 percent for Bush," added the poll.
Hillary Clinton's email has become a setback for her. Sixty percent of voters think Clinton put national security at risk by mishandling classified emails while she was secretary of state, up from 54 percent in August, the poll added.