Monmouth Poll: Clinton has 41 pt. Lead Over Sanders in Iowa

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On the same night she’s due in to New Jersey for a fundraiser at the home of Phil Sellinger, Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton holds a commanding 41 point lead over Bernie Sanders among likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa, according to this morning’s Monmouth University Poll.

Conducted after Clinton’s appearance before the Benghazi Committee and Joe Biden’s announcement that he would not mount a presidential campaign, the poll shows the former Secretary of State garnering the support of 65% of likely Democratic caucusgoers to 24% for Sanders. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley clocks in at 5% and Larry Lessig has 1% of the vote.  Clinton enjoys a large lead over Sanders among both male (55% to 33%) and female (73% to 16%) voters.  She also has an edge across the ideological spectrum, leading among voters who are very liberal (57% to 34%), somewhat liberal (68% to 22%), and moderate (69% to 19%).

O’Malley does best among voters who earn more than $100,000 a year (13%), but still trails Clinton (46%) and Sanders (34%) with this group.  Among current Clinton supporters, 59% say Sanders would be their second choice while just 14% say it would be O’Malley.  Among Sanders supporters, 68% say Clinton would be their second choice and 19% would pick O’Malley.

“We now have a two-person race, but one of those competitors has just pulled very far ahead,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch.

Four-in-ten (40%) Democratic caucusgoers say they are completely settled on the candidate they will support on February 1st.  For comparison, this is double the number of likely Republican caucusgoers who said the same (19%) in a Monmouth poll released yesterday.  Another 37% of Democrats have a strong preference but are willing to consider other candidates, 10% have a slight preference and 13% are largely undecided.  Clinton’s support appears to be more solid than the Sanders vote.  Among Clinton voters, 49% are completely decided and 35% have a strong preference, with the remaining 16% looking at other candidates.  Among Sanders voters, just 27% are completely decided and 47% have a strong preference, with 24% looking at other candidates.

Four-in-ten Iowa Democrats would be either very unhappy (16%) or a little unhappy (25%) if their chosen candidate did not win.  Nearly half (47%) say they would be okay if another candidate took the party’s nomination. There are no significant differences between Clinton and Sanders supporters on this question.

About 3-in-10 (31%) Democratic caucusgoers report having seen a presidential candidate in person, with nearly half that number having met multiple candidates.  Overall, 21% of these voters have seen Clinton in person, 16% have seen Sanders, 8% have seen O’Malley, and 2% of these Democrats have even attended a Donald Trump event.

Hillary Clinton holds a very strong 88% favorable and 8% unfavorable rating among likely caucusgoers.  Bernie Sanders also has an extremely positive rating at 77% favorable and 11% unfavorable.  Martin O’Malley also has positive numbers at 50% favorable and 14% unfavorable, but 36% of Iowa Democrats feel they don’t know enough to rate him.  Larry Lessig earns a negative 9% favorable and 18% unfavorable rating, with 74% having no opinion.

Iowa Democrats tend to be satisfied with the direction of their party.  Nearly 8-in-10 (79%) say the national Democratic Party is doing a good job representing the concerns of voters like them while only 12% say it is doing a bad job.  This is a far cry from the sentiments of Hawkeye State Republicans in yesterday’s Monmouth University Poll – just 32% of likely GOP caucusgoers feel their national party is doing a good job while a majority of 57% say it is doing a bad job.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from October 22 to 25, 2015 with 400 Iowa voters likely to attend the Democratic presidential caucuses in February 2016. This sample has a margin of error of +4.9 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch

Monmouth Poll: Clinton has 41 pt. Lead Over Sanders in Iowa