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Bernie Sanders ‘stunned’ over polls showing him even with Hillary Clinton

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bernie Sanders said new polls that show him drawing even with front-runner Hillary Clinton in key primary states are stunning.

“You want me to tell you the truth?” he asked to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in an interview Thursday when asked about his strong showing.

“Yes, I’m stunned,” Sanders said. “Look, we have a message that I believed from day one was going to resonate with the American people. … Did I think (the issues) would resonate as quickly as they have? The answer is no.”

Sanders credited his focus on middle-class economics and anti-establishment message as keys to his success.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed Sanders continues to build momentum against Clinton, puling even with her in Iowa, 41% to 40%. That’s up from a 21-point deficit with Clinton two months ago. Other recent polling that has shown Sanders ahead in another key early primary state, New Hampshire, although Clinton still maintains double-digit leads in national polling.

Sanders said his campaign has received contributions from more than 400,000 people with an average donation of $31.20, while eschewing raising money for super PACs.

As for Clinton’s inability to move past the scandal over her use of a private email server as secretary of state, Sanders wouldn’t quite say it was hurting her standing.

“i think it’s clearly not helping her,” he said.