Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders in national CBS/NYT poll
Last Updated Mar 21, 2016 7:14 PM EDT
By Anthony Salvanto, Fred Backus, Jennifer De Pinto, Sarah Dutton
The Race for the NominationHillary Clinton now leads Bernie Sanders by five points nationally, 50 percent to 45 percent, ahead by slightly less than last month.
Clinton continues to lead among women and has a sizable lead among voters over age 45. She also leads among Democrats and non-white voters. As he has in the voting contests this year, Sanders gets strong support from younger voters and independents. But Sanders has made inroads since last month among some groups in which Clinton dominates: women and Democrats. While he still loses to Clinton among both, his support among women and Democrats has risen 8 points since February. The race is close among white voters, as it was last month.
The poll findings suggest an "enthusiasm gap:" while 56 percent of Democratic primary voters would enthusiastically support Sanders if he wins the nomination, just 40 percent say the same if Clinton should win. Still, both Clinton and Sanders would receive widespread support from Democratic primary voters should either become the nominee; just one in ten would not support each candidate.
And each side's supporters say they would support the other candidate: among Sanders' supporters, 19 percent say they would not support Clinton, while just 11 percent of Clinton's supporters would not support Sanders.
Expectations are that Clinton will be their party's nominee: 72 percent think she will win the nomination, similar to views over the last few months.
The Democrats: Candidate Characteristics
These voters see clear differences between the two candidates. Fifty-six percent of Democratic primary voters view Clinton as honest, but even more, 84 percent, say the same of Sanders.
But Clinton is more widely viewed as having policies that are achievable. Seventy-eight percent of Democratic primary voters think Clinton's policy proposals are realistic, compared to 56 percent who say that about Sanders' proposals. Nearly four in 10 Democratic primary voters think Sanders' proposals are not realistic.
President Obama and the Democratic NominationPresident Barack Obama remains popular among Democratic primary voters. Just under half would like to see President Obama's policies continued, and that proves to be an advantage for Hillary Clinton. She receives support from 67 percent of those who want to see a continuation of the current President's policies. Sanders receives more support from those who would like to see more liberal policies enacted.
President Obama's Approval RatingsOverall, 48 percent of Americans approve of the job President Obama is doing (that rises to 84 percent among Democratic primary voters), and 44 percent disapprove - similar to recent evaluations.
The President's approval rating on handling the economy has steadily ticked up, and is now the highest it has been in many years -- since October 2009, when 54 percent approved. 51 percent now say the economy is good (the highest in a year), while 47 percent say it is bad. 28 percent say it is improving.
At 42 percent, President Obama's approval rating on handling foreign policy has also improved since earlier this year.
The Party and the CampaignsDemocratic primary voters offer positive assessments of their party and the Democratic campaign this year, in stark contrast to their Republican counterparts, who give more negative assessments of their party and campaigns.
Sixty-two percent say the Democratic Party is united, while just 33 percent see it as divided.
Eighty-two percent of Democratic primary voters are mostly proud of the Democratic presidential campaigns, and just 13 percent are mostly embarrassed. Seventy-eight percent say the campaigns are addressing the issues that matter to them.
Forty percent say that compared to past campaigns the tone this year is more positive, and 48 percent see it as the same as in past years.