WASHINGTON — More than halfway through a nomination race that she entered as the clear favorite, Hillary Clinton finds herself deadlocked with Bernie Sanders among Democrats.

Even after more than two dozen primaries and caucuses in which Clinton has amassed a commanding lead in votes and in delegates needed to win the nomination, a Bloomberg Politics national poll found that Sanders is the first choice of 49 percent of those who have voted or plan to vote in this year’s Democratic contests, while the former secretary of state is preferred by 48 percent.

The collection of enthusiastic first-time voters, those under 35, men, and self-described independents that he’s leaned on to win in states like New Hampshire and Colorado are keeping Sanders in the race, as is his message singularly focused on income inequality.

By a more than 2-to-1 ratio, Democratic primary voters say Sanders would fight harder than Clinton for the middle class and do the most to rein in the power of Wall Street. Nearly six in 10 say the Vermont senator cares the most about people like them, and 64 percent see him as the most honest and trustworthy candidate. Just a quarter of voters said that of Clinton.

“It comes down to this: Bernie Sanders is the one Democrats see as looking out for them — meaning he will build a stronger middle class at the expense of Wall Street,” said J. Ann Selzer, whose firm conducted the poll. “They trust him to do it. In the end, Hillary Clinton has a trust problem.”

The survey also signaled some trouble for Clinton in holding on to Sanders supporters in November. In general-election match-ups, Sanders holds a 24-point edge over Donald Trump, a 12-point lead over Ted Cruz, and a 4-point lead over John Kasich among likely general-election voters. Clinton, by contrast, trails Kasich by 4 percentage points. She would carry a sizable lead into a race against Cruz, where she holds a 9-point advantage, and Trump, whom she beats by 18 points.


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