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Clinton Maintains Big Lead

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015

Most Democrats satisfied with frontrunner

West Long Branch, NJ  – Hillary Clinton’s substantial lead over Bernie Sanders in the latest national Monmouth University Poll  is basically unchanged from October.  Most Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters would be satisfied with Clinton as the nominee, even if they are not currently supporting her in the party contest.

Clinton currently has the support of 59% of Democrats nationwide, which is similar to the 57% support she held in October right after the first debate.  Sanders gets 26% support, which is basically unchanged from his 24% support two months ago.  Martin O’Malley has 4% support, up from 1%.

“Clinton successfully ran the gauntlet this fall, appearing before the Benghazi Committee and outlasting the specter of a Biden candidacy. She really hasn’t lost ground since then,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

Four-in-five Democratic voters would be either enthusiastic (22%) or satisfied (58%) with Clinton as their party’s nominee.  Just 11% would be dissatisfied and only 5% would be upset.  Even a majority of Sanders supporters (59%) would be okay if Clinton ultimately won the nomination over their preferred candidate.

Personal ratings for the Democratic field have held basically steady over the past two months.  Clinton scores a 73% favorable and 15% unfavorable rating now, compared to 77% – 18% in October.  Sanders earns a 59% favorable and 16% unfavorable rating, compared to 60% – 11% two months ago.  O’Malley has a 18% favorable and 18% unfavorable rating, with 63% of Democrats nationwide still having no opinion of him.

The top issue for Democratic voters is the economy and jobs (27% first choice / 19% second choice), followed by national security and terrorism (20% first choice / 16% second choice) and education (15% first choice / 17% second choice).  The next tier of issue concerns for Democrats includes gun control (9% / 11%), taxes and government spending (7% / 11%), and social issues (6% / 9%).  Immigration (2% / 5%) ranks very low on Democratic voters’ list of concerns.

A Monmouth University Poll  released Monday found Republican voters are much more likely than Democrats to name national security (57% compared to 36%) and immigration (25% compared to 7%) among their top two issues.  However, GOP voters are less likely to say the same about education (8% compared to 32%) or gun control (9% compared to 20%).

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from December 10 to 13, 2015 with 1,006 adults in the United States.   This release is based on a voter sample of 374 registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party.  This voter sample has a margin of error of ± 5.1 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

DATA TABLES

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

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]?

  December
2015
October
2015
September
2015
August
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Hillary Clinton 59% 57% 42% 52% 1% 7% 60%
Bernie Sanders 26% 24% 20% 16% 17% 12% 7%
Martin O’Malley 4% 1% 1% 2% 1% 1% 2%
(VOL) Other 1% 0% 0% 2% 0% 0% 0%
Joe Biden n/a n/a 22% 12% 13% 12% 16%
Lincoln Chafee n/a 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% n/a
Larry Lessig n/a 1% n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Jim Webb n/a 1% 1% 2% 1% 2% 1%
(VOL) No one 3% 4% 4% 3% 2% 2% 2%
(VOL) Undecided 8% 12% 10% 11% 15% 14% 12%
Unwtd N 374 340 339 429 357 350 356

2. I’m going to read you a few names of people who are running 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]

  Favorable Unfavorable No opinion
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton    73%    15%    12%
    –October 2015 77 18 6
    –September 2015 71 17 12
    –August 2015 71 17 13
    –July 2015 74 17   9
    –June 2015 78 12 10
    –April 2015 76 16   8
    –December 2014 82 11   7
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley    18%    18% 63%
    –October 2015 23 17 60
    –September 2015 13 14 72
    –August 2015 13 9 78
    –July 2015 13 14 72
    –June 2015 13 18 70
    –April 2015 21 12 66
    –December 2014 10 13 77
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders    59%    16%    26%
    –October 2015 60 11 28
    –September 2015 41 14 45
    –August 2015 42 12 45
    –July 2015 36 12 51
    –June 2015 29 18 54
    –April 2015 30 12 58
    –December 2014 22 13 65
       

3. How would you feel if Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee – enthusiastic, satisfied, dissatisfied, or upset?

  December
2015
Enthusiastic 22%
Satisfied 58%
Dissatisfied 11%
Upset 5%
(VOL) Don’t know 4%

4/5. Which of the following issues is the most important to you in deciding who to support for president? [ITEMS WERE ROTATED]
And which is the second most important?

  FIRST
CHOICE
SECOND
CHOICE
Combined
1st & 2nd
Immigration 2% 5% 7%
The economy and jobs 27% 19% 46%
National security and terrorism 20% 16% 36%
Social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage 6% 9% 15%
Taxes and government spending 7% 11% 18%
Education 15% 17% 32%
Gun control 9% 11% 20%
(VOL) All equally important 9% 0% 9%
(VOL) Other 3% 1% 4%
(VOL) Don’t know 2% 12% 14%

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from December 10 to 13, 2015 with a national random sample of 1,006 adults age 18 and older.  This includes 654 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 352 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 374 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 5.1 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.

POLL DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)  FULL SAMPLE – ALL ADULTS
49% Male 32% 18-34 66% White
51% Female 36% 35-54 12% Black
  32% 55+ 15% Hispanic
          7% Asian/Other
POLL DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)  DEMOCRAT VOTERS ONLY
41% Male 27% 18-34 56% White
59% Female 38% 35-54 22% Black
  35% 55+ 16% Hispanic
          6% Asian/Other

Download this Poll Report with crosstabs