- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has a 9-point lead over Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont in the early caucus state of Iowa, according to polling released Wednesday that also showed voters prefer Mr. Sanders to Mrs. Clinton on the issue of the economy.

Mrs. Clinton had the support of 51 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers, compared to 42 percent for Mr. Sanders and 4 percent for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, according to the Quinnipiac University poll.

A Quinnipiac survey released in late October on the 2016 Democratic nomination contest had Mrs. Clinton at 51 percent and Mr. Sanders at 40 percent.

“Sometimes running in place is a good thing. In this case, that is what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been doing, and she’ll take the status quo. She remains ahead by about 10 points over her only real challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders. She hasn’t stretched her lead, but it hasn’t shrunk, either,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Forty-seven percent of Democrats did say Mr. Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” can best handle the economy, compared to 42 percent for Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Sanders also got better marks than Mrs. Clinton on honesty and trustworthiness, caring about voters’ needs and problems, and sharing voters’ values. Mrs. Clinton got better marks on having strong leadership qualities and having the right kind of experience to be president.

About four in five Democrats viewed both candidates favorably.

“It’s not that Iowa Democrats are in love with Secretary Clinton right now. They even think Sanders would be better handling the economy, generally the hallmark of the candidate who wins the Democratic nomination,” Mr. Brown said. “But despite all the things about Clinton that gives Democrats pause, there is one thing that unites them: She looks like a winner in November.”

Eighty-five percent said Mrs. Clinton has a good chance of defeating the Republican nominee in the general election, compared to 54 percent who said the same of Mr. Sanders.

About four in five Democrats said they support accepting Syrian refugees into both the United States and Iowa. Fifty-eight percent said they oppose sending in U.S. ground troops to fight the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, and they said by a 41 percent to 31 percent margin that the U.S. and its allies are losing the fight against the terrorist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

The survey was taken from Nov. 16-22 — after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and after the most recent Democratic presidential debate.

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