Hillary Clinton’s lead in the race for the Democratic nomination has fallen to just 10 points, and at the same time, her advantage in hypothetical general election matchups against the top Republican contenders has vanished, a new CNN/ORC poll has found.
The new poll finds Clinton with 37% support among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, down 10 points since August, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 27% and Vice President Joe Biden at 20%. Sanders’ support is about the same as it was in August, making Biden the only candidate to post significant gains in the last month. His support is up 6 points in the last month as he weighs making a run for the presidency.
Behind the top three, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley holds 3%, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb is at 2% and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee logs less than 1% support.
In the general election matchups, Clinton trails former neurosurgeon Ben Carson by a significant margin (51% Carson to 46% Clinton among registered voters) while running about evenly with both former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (49% Bush to 47% Clinton) and businessman Donald Trump (48% back each).
The shift away from the former secretary of state stems from shrinking support among women. Clinton’s advantage among women has disappeared in matchups against Bush and Carson. Facing Trump, Clinton still carries women by a large, though tighter, margin. In August, 60% of women favored Clinton to 37% for Trump, but that’s narrowed slightly to 55% Clinton, 41% Trump now. Clinton’s advantage among women against Trump is fueled by independent women, despite that group shifting away from Clinton in the head-to-head against Bush.
The poll suggests Republican women have consolidated their support around their party’s front-runners in the last month, and are now more apt to back both Bush and Trump than they were a month ago. At the same time, the near-universal support for Clinton among Democratic women has softened slightly, bringing it more in-line with her support among Democratic men.
With Biden’s consideration of a run for the White House gaining attention, the poll finds he outperforms Clinton in these hypothetical general election matchups, topping Bush and Trump while falling just slightly behind Carson. Biden tops Trump by 10 points (54% to 44% among registered voters), leads Bush by 8 points (52% to 44%) and is 3 points behind Carson (50% Carson to 47% Biden). Biden’s advantages against Bush and Trump rest on the same kind of gender gap that Clinton appears to have lost: Biden leads Bush by 16 points among women while tying him among men, he tops Trump by 26 points among women while trailing him by 7 among men, and he leads Carson by 5 among women while trailing by 10 among men.
Source: CNN | Jennifer Agiesta