November 25, 2015 - Clinton Leads Iowa Dem Caucus, But Weak On Economy, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Iowa Democrats Welcome Syrian Refugees 6-1 Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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Despite a low grade for handling the economy, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the support of 51 percent of Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, with 42 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and 4 percent for former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, with 3 percent undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This is virtually unchanged from the results of an October 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University showing Clinton at 51 percent, with Sanders at 40 percent.

The economy and jobs are most important for 36 percent of likely Democratic Caucus participants in deciding who to nominate, as 15 percent list climate change; 12 percent say foreign policy and 11 percent cite health care.

Sanders can best handle the economy, 47 percent of Democrats say, while 42 percent say Clinton is best on this issue.

"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.

"The only way Secretary Clinton is going to lose the nomination is a scenario in which she drops the early Iowa and New Hampshire contests to Sen. Sanders, who then might become the 'momentum' candidate. So she'll be just fine if she 'only' wins by 10 points. She has a big edge in money and party organization in the larger states that follow and where Sanders doesn't poll as well as he does in the early, smaller state contests."

"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," Brown added. "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."

Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants give Clinton an 81 - 15 percent favorability rating. Sanders gets an 81 - 7 percent favorability.

Rating Clinton's personal qualities, Democrats say:
  • 68 - 25 percent that she is honest and trustworthy;
  • 94 - 5 percent that she has strong leadership qualities;
  • 80 - 18 percent that she cares about their needs and problems;
  • 76 - 20 percent that she shares their values;
  • 95 - 5 percent that she has the right kind of experience to be president.
Rating Sanders, Democrats say:
  • 89 - 4 percent that he is honest and trustworthy;
  • 79 - 14 percent that he has strong leadership qualities;
  • 92 - 5 percent that he cares about their needs and problems;
  • 84 - 8 percent that he shares their values;
  • 66 - 24 percent that he has the right kind of experience to be president.
Clinton has a good chance of defeating the Republican nominee in the general election, 85 percent of likely Democratic Caucus-goers say, while only 54 percent say Sanders has a good chance of winning.

Iowa Democrats support 81 - 13 percent accepting Syrian refugees into the U.S. and support 80 - 14 percent accepting these refugees into Iowa.

Democrats oppose 58 - 33 percent sending U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria and say 41 - 31 percent that the U.S. and its allies are losing the fight against ISIS.

From November 16 - 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 543 likely Iowa Democratic Caucus participants with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

3. If the Democratic caucus were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, and Bernie Sanders, who would you support? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you support Clinton, O'Malley, or Sanders?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Clinton              51%    43%    43%    59%    42%    57%    48%    53%
O'Malley              4      2      8      5      5      4      6      3
Sanders              42     53     45     33     51     36     42     43
DK/NA                 3      2      4      3      2      3      3      2
 
                     MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTIC Q81.....
                                   Strong        BestChance
                     Cares         Leader        OfWinning
 
Clinton              30%           63%           66%
O'Malley              4             4             6
Sanders              65            29            25
DK/NA                 1             4             3
                                              
                     MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE Q62...........
                     Economy/      ForgnPlcy/    Climate
                     Jobs          Terrorism     Change
                                 
Clinton              44%           73%           34%
O'Malley              3             2            10
Sanders              50            23            55
DK/NA                 3             2             1     
 
 
3A. (If candidate chosen q3) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the caucus?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS.............
                     CANDIDATE CHOSEN Q3.................
                                   CANDIDATE OF CHOICE Q3
                     Tot           Clinton       Sanders
 
Made up              63%           63%           64%
Might change         36            37            34
DK/NA                 1             -             1
 
 
4. Are there any of these candidates you would definitely not support for the Democratic nomination for president? (Totals may add up to more than 100% because multiple responses were allowed)
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Clinton               7%     8%     3%    10%    12%     3%     8%     7%
O'Malley             12     14     13      9     12     12     11     13
Sanders               5      2      4      8      4      5      3      6
No/No one            73     71     77     73     71     75     77     70
DK/NA                 6      6      5      5      5      7      5      7
 
 
5. Compared to past presidential caucuses in Iowa, how would you describe your level of enthusiasm about attending a presidential caucus in February 2016; are you more enthusiastic than usual, less enthusiastic, or about the same as usual?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
More                 26%    28%    24%    26%    25%    27%    19%    33%
Less                 14     12     14     16     14     14     20      9
About the same       59     60     61     57     59     59     61     57
DK/NA                 1      -      1      -      2      -      -      1
 
 
59. Is your opinion of Hillary Clinton favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            81%    79%    83%    80%    75%    85%    82%    79%
Unfavorable          15     18     12     15     21     11     13     17
Hvn't hrd enough      2      2      2      4      3      2      3      2
REFUSED               2      2      2      1      2      2      2      2
 
 
60. Is your opinion of Martin O'Malley favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            43%    50%    39%    42%    45%    41%    49%    38%
Unfavorable           6      7      8      4      6      7      7      6
Hvn't hrd enough     49     40     53     52     48     50     43     54
REFUSED               2      2      1      1      1      2      1      2
 
 
61. Is your opinion of Bernie Sanders favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Favorable            81%    89%    88%    74%    85%    78%    85%    77%
Unfavorable           7      4      5      8      6      7      5      8
Hvn't hrd enough     11      6      6     15      8     12      7     14
REFUSED               2      1      1      2      1      2      2      1
 
 
62. Which of these is the most important issue to you in deciding who to support for the Democratic nomination for President: the economy and jobs, terrorism, immigration, the federal deficit, health care, foreign policy, climate change, race relations, abortion, taxes, or gun policy?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Economy and jobs     36%    37%    35%    34%    44%    29%    34%    38%
Terrorism             5      3      1     10      3      7      4      7
Immigration           2      1      3      3      3      2      2      2
Federal deficit       2      -      1      4      3      -      1      2
Health care          11     11     10     14     12     11     10     12
Foreign policy       12     13     12     13      9     14     14     10
Climate change       15     20     14      9     12     16     19     11
Race relations        4      6      5      2      3      5      3      5
Abortion              1      2      2      -      -      2      1      1
Taxes                 3      2      3      3      4      2      2      3
Gun policy            4      2      7      4      2      5      5      2
DK/NA                 5      5      7      5      4      6      5      6
 
 
63. Regardless of who you are voting for, which Democratic candidate do you think can best handle - the economy?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Clinton              42%    35%    39%    51%    36%    47%    40%    44%
O'Malley              4      1      4      8      5      4      6      3
Sanders              47     60     50     34     56     41     49     46
DK/NA                 6      4      7      7      4      8      5      7
 
 
64. Regardless of who you are voting for, which Democratic candidate do you think can best handle - foreign policy?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Clinton              77%    77%    76%    78%    75%    78%    80%    73%
O'Malley              2      2      2      3      1      3      2      3
Sanders              15     16     17     12     19     13     12     18
DK/NA                 6      4      5      6      4      7      6      6
 
 
65. Regardless of who you are voting for, which Democratic candidate do you think can best handle - gun policy?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Clinton              40%    39%    40%    39%    37%    41%    40%    39%
O'Malley              9     11      8      9     11      8     11      7
Sanders              33     38     37     28     41     27     32     34
DK/NA                18     13     15     24     11     23     17     20
 
 
66. Regardless of who you are voting for, which Democratic candidate do you think can best handle - health care?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Clinton              51%    47%    48%    55%    43%    56%    49%    52%
O'Malley              2      1      3      3      2      3      4      1
Sanders              41     50     44     33     51     33     39     42
DK/NA                 6      2      5      9      4      8      7      5
 
 
67. Regardless of who you are voting for, which Democratic candidate do you think can best handle - education?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Clinton              47%    42%    41%    52%    37%    54%    42%    51%
O'Malley              6      4      6      9      6      6      8      4
Sanders              39     50     43     28     50     31     38     40
DK/NA                 8      5     10     11      7     10     11      6
 
 
68. Regardless of who you are voting for, which Democratic candidate do you think can best handle - terrorism?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Clinton              68%    67%    73%    65%    64%    70%    71%    65%
O'Malley              3      2      2      4      3      2      2      3
Sanders              19     24     18     16     23     16     18     20
DK/NA                10      7      7     15      9     11      9     11
 
 
69. Would you say that - Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  68%    64%    72%    68%    63%    71%    70%    65%
No                   25     26     23     23     31     19     23     26
DK/NA                 8     10      5      8      5      9      6      9
 
 
70. Would you say that - Bernie Sanders is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  89%    96%    93%    84%    90%    89%    93%    86%
No                    4      2      2      8      6      3      3      6
DK/NA                 6      2      5      8      4      8      5      8
 
 
71. Would you say that - Hillary Clinton has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  94%    94%    96%    93%    91%    97%    94%    95%
No                    5      6      3      7      9      2      6      5
DK/NA                 -      -      1      -      -      1      1      -
 
 
72. Would you say that - Bernie Sanders has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  79%    85%    84%    74%    81%    78%    79%    79%
No                   14      8     12     19     14     13     15     12
DK/NA                 7      7      4      7      4      9      5      9
 
 
73. Would you say that - Hillary Clinton cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  80%    81%    86%    76%    74%    85%    83%    77%
No                   18     19     11     20     23     13     15     20
DK/NA                 2      -      3      4      3      2      2      3
 
 
74. Would you say that - Bernie Sanders cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  92%    98%    96%    84%    91%    92%    94%    90%
No                    5      1      1     11      6      4      3      7
DK/NA                 3      1      3      5      2      4      4      3
 
 
75. Would you say that - Hillary Clinton has the right kind of experience to be President or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  95%    95%    97%    92%    90%    98%    95%    94%
No                    5      4      2      8      9      2      5      5
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      1      -      1      1
 
 
76. Would you say that - Bernie Sanders has the right kind of experience to be President or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  66%    77%    72%    53%    73%    60%    69%    63%
No                   24     12     23     35     23     25     23     24
DK/NA                11     11      6     12      5     15      7     13
 
 
77. Would you say that - Hillary Clinton shares your values or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  76%    77%    80%    74%    72%    80%    74%    78%
No                   20     21     17     22     24     16     21     18
DK/NA                 4      2      3      4      4      4      4      3
 
 
78. Would you say that - Bernie Sanders shares your values or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  84%    90%    92%    75%    87%    82%    86%    83%
No                    8      4      5     15      9      8      7      9
DK/NA                 8      6      4     10      4     10      7      8
 
 
79. Would you say that - Hillary Clinton would have a good chance of defeating the Republican nominee in the general election for President or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  85%    90%    85%    84%    87%    84%    86%    85%
No                   11      9     10     11     11     10      9     12
DK/NA                 4      1      5      5      2      5      5      3
 
 
80. Would you say that - Bernie Sanders would have a good chance of defeating the Republican nominee in the general election for President or not?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  54%    68%    55%    41%    57%    51%    48%    59%
No                   33     16     38     45     36     31     39     28
DK/NA                13     16      7     14      6     18     13     13
 
 
81. Thinking about the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, which of the following is most important to you: Someone who shares your values, cares about the needs and problems of people like you, has strong leadership qualities, is honest and trustworthy, has the right kind of experience, or has the best chance of winning?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Shares values        14%    16%    17%     9%    18%    11%    12%    16%
Cares needs/problems 23     29     23     19     25     22     23     24
Strong leadership    18     15     17     24     17     19     18     18
Honest/trustworthy   13     10     12     15     10     16     11     15
Right experience     12     12     12     12     12     12     10     13
Best chance/winning  18     18     17     20     17     19     25     12
DK/NA                 1      1      2      1      2      1      1      2
 
 
82. Do you support or oppose accepting Syrian refugees into the U.S.?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              81%    90%    85%    71%    85%    77%    91%    71%
Oppose               13      5     11     21     12     14      6     20
DK/NA                 6      6      4      8      3      9      3      9
 
 
83. Do you support or oppose accepting Syrian refugees into Iowa?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              80%    89%    85%    71%    84%    77%    91%    71%
Oppose               14      4     11     23     14     14      6     21
DK/NA                 6      7      3      6      2      8      3      8
 
 
84. Would you support or oppose the U.S. sending ground troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              33%    23%    32%    43%    36%    31%    30%    36%
Oppose               58     70     55     49     61     56     60     56
DK/NA                 9      6     13      8      3     13     10      8
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Support              32%
Oppose               60
DK/NA                 7
 
 
85. Do you think the United States and its allies are winning or losing the fight against ISIS?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Winning              31%    32%    36%    28%    35%    27%    29%    32%
Losing               41     40     36     46     43     40     43     39
DK/NA                28     28     28     26     22     32     28     28
 
                     Mltry
                     HsHld
 
Winning              27%
Losing               44
DK/NA                29
 
 
86. How worried are you about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the United States, like the ones that happened recently in Paris; very worried, somewhat worried, not so worried, or not worried at all?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Very worried         17%    12%    15%    21%    16%    18%    12%    22%
Somewhat worried     48     42     48     54     39     54     52     44
Not so worried       26     32     31     16     30     22     27     25
Not worried at all    9     14      5      8     15      4      9      9
DK/NA                 -      -      1      -      -      1      -      1
 
 
87. Do the terrorist attacks in Paris make you more likely to support stricter gun laws, less likely to support stricter gun laws, or don't they make a difference?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
More likely          32%    37%    28%    32%    25%    38%    30%    34%
Less likely           6      4      4      8      7      5      3      8
No difference        60     55     67     59     68     53     66     55
DK/NA                 2      4      -      1      1      4      2      3
 

Sample and Methodology detail