US Democratic nomination race: Hillary Clinton shaken by rise of Bernie Sanders in early polls

In New Hampshire, Mr Sanders has a slim lead of 50 per cent to 46 per cent

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Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for the White House has been shaken by a new poll that placed her left-wing rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, neck-and-neck with her in the first two states to decide.

In Iowa, which will hold caucus voting three weeks from now, Ms Clinton is narrowly ahead, 48 per cent to 45 per cent, according to the Marist poll – but her lead is within the margin of error.

In New Hampshire, where primary elections will follow a week later, Mr Sanders has a slim lead of 50 per cent to 46 per cent, also within the margin of error for the survey.

On the Republican side, meanwhile, the poll showed Senator Ted Cruz of Texas just pipping Donald Trump, 28 per cent to 24 per cent, in Iowa. 

That rating came as Mr Trump, who still has a commanding lead in New Hampshire, incurred fresh ire from Muslim-Americans at the weekend following a scene at a rally in North Carolina on Friday when a woman in a headscarf was ejected after attempting to make a silent protest against him. Rose Hamid, 56, a flight attendant, received an ugly reception when she stood up wearing a white T-shirt with the message “Salam, I come in peace” as Mr Trump spoke. She was later ushered out of the venue.