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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Clinton Holds Steady in Dem Race

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sanders and O’Malley seen as less electable

West Long Branch, NJ – Despite many weeks of negative news, Hillary Clinton’s standing among Democratic voters nationwide remains strong after holding the first major event of her campaign this weekend.  The latest Monmouth University Poll found that more than 3-in-4 Democrats have a favorable opinion of the former Secretary of State.  Few voters feel the rest of the field has as good a shot of winning the White House in November 2016.

Clinton continues to dominate the field for the Democratic nomination.  She currently has the support of 57% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters nationwide, which has changed little from the 60% support she registered two months ago.  Trailing far behind are Vice President Joe Biden (12%), Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (12%), former Virginia Senator Jim Webb (2%), and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (1%).  Lincoln Chafee, the former Republican senator and governor of Rhode Island who officially entered the 2016 fray as a Democrat two weeks ago, earns 0% in the poll.

“Clinton’s reputation has taken a battering recently, but the Democratic base has stood behind her,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

Sanders and O’Malley have officially announced their candidacies, but most Democrats feel they wouldn’t have as much of a chance as Clinton in defeating the eventual Republican nominee next year.  In fact, 6-in-10 Democratic voters say that Sanders (59%) and O’Malley (60%) would have a worse chance than Clinton in the general election.  Only about 1-in-4 say Sanders would have either as good a shot (15%) or better (13%) than Clinton.  And a similar number say O’Malley would have either as good a shot (15%) or better (8%).

Currently, 78% of Democratic voters have a favorable opinion of Hillary Clinton while just 12% hold an unfavorable view.  This is basically identical to her 76% to 16% standing in April.  Joe Biden earns a 62% favorable to 18% unfavorable rating among Democrats, similar to his 65% to 22% result in the prior poll.

Fewer than half have an opinion of Bernie Sanders, who clocks in with a 29% favorable to 18% unfavorable rating, which is similar to his 30% to 12% rating in April.  Even fewer – only about 3-in-10 – Democrats have an opinion of the rest of the field.  Martin O’Malley holds a 13% favorable to 18% unfavorable rating, which is actually worse than the 21% to 12% rating he earned before formally getting into the race.  Jim Webb has a 9% favorable to 20% unfavorable rating, similar to the 14% to 18% rating he held in the last poll.  Lincoln Chafee, making his first appearance in the poll, earns a 9% favorable to 18% unfavorable rating among Democratic voters nationwide.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from June 11 to 14, 2015 with 1,002 adults in the United States.   This release is based on a voter sample of 350 registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party.  This voter sample has a margin of error of ± 5.2 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

1.      I know the 2016 election is far away, but who would you support for the Democratic nomination for president if the candidates were – [NAMES WERE ROTATED]? 

2.      I’m going to read you a few names of people who might run for president in 2016.  Please tell me if your general impression of each is favorable or unfavorable, or if you don’t really have an opinion.  [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

[QUESTIONS 3 & 4 WERE ROTATED]

3.      Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his positions, if Bernie Sanders was the Democratic nominee would he have as good a chance as Hillary Clinton of winning the general election against a Republican, would Sanders have a better chance than Clinton, or would Sanders have a worse chance than Clinton?

4.      Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his positions, if Martin O’Malley was the Democratic nominee would he have as good a chance as Hillary Clinton of winning the general election against a Republican, would O’Malley have a better chance than Clinton, or would O’Malley have a worse chance than Clinton?

 

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from June 11 to 14, 2015 with a national random sample of 1,002 adults age 18 and older.  This includes 700 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 302 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone, in English.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information.  Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and SSI (RDD sample).  The results in this poll release are based on a subsample of 350 registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party.  For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design).  Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below).  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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