Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has opened up an 11-point lead on Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the early state of Iowa, according to survey results released Friday that also showed Hawkeye State Democrats thought Mrs. Clinton did the best in last week’s Democratic presidential debate.
Mrs. Clinton had the support of 51 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in the Quinnipiac poll and Mr. Sanders was at 40 percent. A survey released in September had Mr. Sanders at 41 percent and Mrs. Clinton at 40 percent.
“A strong debate performance doesn’t always translate into better poll numbers, but it sure did for Hillary Clinton. Likely Iowa Caucus participants who watched or listened to the debate scored it 2-1 for the former secretary of state,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Of the 48 percent of respondents who watched or listened to the debate, 62 percent said Mrs. Clinton did the best job, compared to 31 percent who said Mr. Sanders and 3 percent for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
In the overall horse race, Mr. O’Malley was well behind Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders as well, at 4 percent support.”
About eight in 10 said they have favorable opinions of both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders. Mrs. Clinton had a 26-point lead over Mr. Sanders among women, 59 percent to 33 percent, while Mr. Sanders led Mrs. Clinton by 12 points among men, 51 percent to 39 percent.
Voters gave Mr. Sanders better ratings than Mrs. Clinton on honesty and trustworthiness and caring about their needs and problems.
Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, was rated better on having strong leadership qualities and having the right kind of experience to be president. She had a narrow edge on Mr. Sanders as to which candidate would best handle the economy, and bigger advantages on the issues of education, health care, gun policy, and foreign policy.
Of those who watched or listened to the debate, 39 percent said former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee did the worst and 37 percent said former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia did the worst. Mr. Chafee announced Friday he was dropping his bid for the Democratic nomination, and Mr. Webb announced Tuesday he was quitting the race for the party’s nomination.
The survey of 592 likely Democratic caucus participants was taken from Oct. 14-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.