Hillary Clinton may be dominating the polls recently, but Democrats haven’t stopped "feeling the Bern" just yet, according to recent polling from CNN/ORC and Quinnipiac University.
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CNN/ORC’s poll, released today, shows Clinton ahead of Sanders by a margin of 28 points. That result is almost identical to what Quinnipiac released Wednesday -- Clinton was ahead of Sanders 2-1 in the horse race there.
But Sanders isn’t so far behind in other categories -– and when it comes to honesty and trustworthiness, more respondents to Quinnipiac’s poll thought Clinton was dishonest than thought Sanders was. The democratic socialist struggles with voters, though, when it comes to leadership ability, experience and electability –- all things that could hurt his chance at the nomination.
Here’s a breakdown of what Democrats think of both candidates:
Voters think Clinton is less honest and trustworthy
When it comes to whom voters think they can trust, Clinton tends to struggle, and Wednesday’s Quinnipiac poll was no different. Sanders fared better -- 23 percent of Democratic respondents said they don’t trust Clinton, while only 11 percent said the same of Sanders. And the number of people who believe Sanders is honest and trustworthy has the potential to grow –- 11 percent of Democrats responding to the poll said they hadn’t “heard enough” about Sanders to be able to make a decision. Only 1 percent said that about Clinton.
Sanders isn’t far behind in other categories, either
In other categories, Hillary is ahead but Bernie trails close behind. For example, when Democratic voters responding to Quinnipiac’s poll were asked if each candidate cared about the needs and problems of people like them, 84 percent agreed that Clinton did, and 75 percent agreed that Sanders did. When asked if each candidate shared their values, 84 percent of Democratic voters said they thought Clinton did, and 73 percent of them thought Sanders did.
The reason for the gap between Clinton and Sanders? Probably the fact that Sanders is less well-known. On each question, around 11 percent of Democratic voters said they didn’t know enough about him to be able to make a decision. If those voters decided they liked Sanders after learning more, Hillary and Bernie could be neck in neck when it comes to questions like this.
So why is Sanders struggling with voters?
A few voter responses in both polls give clues on why Sanders is struggling in the horse race, despite him being relatively well-liked by Democrats. First, Democratic voters don’t think Sanders has the right experience, or is a strong enough leader. Ninety-one percent of Democratic respondents to Quinnipiac’s poll said they thought Hillary had “strong leadership qualities,” and 96 percent said they thought she had the right experience. About 30 percent less of those respondents thought the same about Bernie.
Democrats also think Sanders is less electable, something that might convince them to vote for Clinton in the primaries. According to Wednesday’s Quinnipiac poll, only 49 percent of Democratic respondents think Sanders has a “good chance of defeating the Republican nominee” come November, but 87 percent of them think Clinton would win the general election.
When respondents to CNN/ORC’s poll were asked to pick the candidate they thought had the “best chance winning the general election,” they also overwhelmingly chose Clinton - 74 percent of respondents said she had the best chance of winning if she got the nomination. Only 17 percent of respondents said Sanders had the best chance.