2016 Democratic Presidential Polls: Clinton’s Lead Slashed By Biden Speculation, Surging Sanders
While national DNC polls still present former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a beefy lead for Democratic nomination, the combined stoking of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ momentum and speculation that Vice President Joe Biden may enter the race have cut into her padding massively.
The five-month stretch between today and the first Democratic primaries is more than enough time for something earth-shattering to swing her lead either way, but Clinton’s previous 58% lead has diminished to 47% in the most recent CBS News polls. Meanwhile, as Clinton’s storm of support among Democratic voters under the age of 50 goes extinct despite strength among moderates and women overall, Sanders has closed from 17% to a second-place-earning 27% and Biden’s hypothetical candidacy has garnered 15% of Democratic voters behind him.
Most tellingly, Sanders holds a 5% edge among liberal voters. Previously, Clinton dominated that category by a double-digit margin.
Experience, Progress For Women Maintain Clinton
Clinton may have lost ground, but the Democratic voters who do support her enthusiastically make up a greater segment than that of Republican voters who are excited about the prospects of 2016 GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s candidacy, CBS News reports. For the most part, Clinton’s support stems from her experience both as Secretary of State and as a senator from the state of New York (16% of voters) and the idea that America is overdue for a woman in the Oval Office (13% of voters). Others firmly backed her because she genuinely seems right for the job (10%) and because she is married to former President Bill Clinton (9%) to fully flesh out the anatomy of her support.
What About Joe?
Then there’s Biden. Currently, the Vice President ranks as the runner-up choice for the Democratic nomination – without even having officially decided his candidacy. Biden now enjoys support from 57% of Democratic primary voters who feel he should run. Another third, however, feel he should stay out of the race.
Interestingly enough, half of Clinton’s supporters answered that Biden – not Sanders – would be their second choice next to the former Secretary of State. That’s an interesting notion, considering that Biden declining to run would provide Clinton with a one-third greater lead over Sanders than if Biden chose to stay out, a difference between 20 points with his candidacy versus 30 points if he stays out of the race.
Either way, 2016 Democratic presidential polls currently reflect 55% of voters perceiving Clinton as the most likely Democratic candidate to take the general election. However, a combination of Clinton’s ongoing e-mail scandal and the Biden and Sanders factors have cut down a previous 78% rating on that question since August. Meanwhile, voters are increasingly distant-second Biden as the most electable Democratic hopeful.