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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Clinton Maintains Lead

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

But her supporters wouldn’t be upset if Sanders won

West Long Branch, NJ  - Hillary Clinton's lead in the Democratic field is holding steady according to the most recent national Monmouth University Poll .  However, most of her supporters are okay with the idea of Bernie Sanders being the party's 2016 standard bearer.

Hillary Clinton currently has the support of 52% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters nationwide.  Bernie Sanders places a distant second at 16% followed by Joe Biden at 12%.  Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb each take 2%.  These results are basically unchanged from Monmouth's July poll.

Once again, Lincoln Chafee registers no support.  The Monmouth University Poll  has interviewed 1,136 Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters in three national polls since Chafee announced his presidential bid in June.  As of yet, not one poll participant has selected him in the nomination vote choice question.

With Sanders emerging as Clinton's chief opposition - assuming Biden stays out of the race - the poll found that most Democrats wouldn't mind seeing him take the party's nomination - including 17% who would be enthusiastic about this and 39% who would be satisfied.  Fewer than 1-in-4 would take a negative view of this outcome - including 16% who would be dissatisfied and 7% who would be upset with a Sanders victory.  Another 22% have no opinion.

Even those who currently support Clinton would be fine with a Sanders-topped ticket.  Half of Clinton voters would be enthusiastic (7%) or satisfied (43%), while just 3-in-10 would be dissatisfied (18%) or upset (12%).

"Clinton continues to be the odds-on favorite for the Democratic nomination, but Democrats don't have a particularly strong attachment to seeing her become their nominee," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

Hillary Clinton continues to be viewed favorably by the vast majority of Democrats.  Currently, 71% of her party's voters have a favorable opinion of her, while just 17% hold an unfavorable view.  However, positive opinion of Clinton among Democrats has been slowly eroding over the past few months.  It stood at 82% in December of last year.

Bernie Sanders's rating, on the other hand, has steadily improved.  He currently holds a 42% favorable and 12% unfavorable rating, with 45% having no opinion.  Back in December, he held a 22% positive and 13% negative rating, with 65% having no opinion.

Clinton earns higher favorable ratings from self-identified Democrats (76%) than from independents who lean Democrat (56%).  It's the reverse for Sanders, who does better among leaners (51%) than among solid partisans (39%).

Democratic voter ratings have held steady for the rest of the field over the past month.  Joe Biden has a 67% favorable to 14% unfavorable rating, Jim Webb has a 16% to 11% rating, Martin O'Malley has a 13% to 9% rating, and Lincoln Chafee has an 8% to 11% rating.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from July 30 to August 2, 2015 with 1,203 adults in the United States.   This release is based on a voter sample of 429 registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party.  This voter sample has a margin of error of ±  4.7 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]

3.      How would you feel if Bernie Sanders ended up becoming the Democratic nominee – enthusiastic, satisfied, dissatisfied, or upset?

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from July 30 to August 2, 2015 with a national random sample of 1,203 adults age 18 and older.  This includes 842 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 361 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 429 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 4.7 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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