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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Clinton Maintains Big Lead

Wednesday, December 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.

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 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]

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

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

5.      And which is the second most important?


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.

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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- Monmouth University Polling Institute