Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has an 8-point lead over Sen. Bernard Sanders in Iowa, according to a poll released Friday ahead of next week’s caucuses.
Mrs. Clinton was at 48 percent support to the Vermont senator’s 40 percent, according to the poll from the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was at 7 percent.
“We’ve found Hillary Clinton leading in Iowa by 6-8 points on our last two polls,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “Bernie Sanders will likely make up some ground from Martin O’Malley voters moving toward him. To pull the upset he will need large numbers of voters who aren’t currently registered Democrats to show up on his behalf Monday night.”
In most precincts, a candidate has to receive at least 15 percent support to be considered viable. If they fall below the threshold, that candidate’s supporters — presumably Mr. O’Malley’s — could then opt for Mr. Sanders or Mrs. Clinton.
Fifty-seven percent of O’Malley supporters said Mr. Sanders was their second choice, compared to 27 percent who said it was Mrs. Clinton.
Mrs. Clinton had a 17-point, 53 percent to 36 percent lead among registered Democrats, while Mr. Sanders had a 39-point, 62 percent to 23 percent lead among independents.
About nine in 10 Clinton supporters said they’re firmly committed to supporting the former secretary of state, compared to 74 percent who said the same of Mr. Sanders.
Mr. Sanders had a 76 percent favorable rating, with 14 percent saying they have an unfavorable opinion of him. Mrs. Clinton had a 69 percent/22 percent favorable/unfavorable split, and Mr. O’Malley had a 53 percent/18 percent split.