December 15, 2015 - Women Back Clinton Over Sanders 2-1 In Iowa Dem Caucus, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Economy Remains Top Issue For Iowa Democrats Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
PDF format
Additional Trend Information

With an almost 2-1 lead among women, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont 51 - 40 percent among Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has 6 percent with 3 percent undecided.

This compares to the results of a November 25 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University showing Clinton over Sanders 51 - 42 percent.

Today, women back Clinton over Sanders 59 - 32 percent, with 7 percent for O'Malley, while men back Sanders over Clinton 52 - 39 percent, with 5 percent for O'Malley.

Despite recent attacks, 35 percent of likely Democratic Caucus-goers say the economy and jobs are most important in deciding who to nominate, as 15 percent list health care, with 11 percent for climate change, 10 percent for foreign policy and 7 percent for terrorism.

Sanders can better handle the economy, 45 percent of Democrats say, while 44 percent say Clinton is better on this issue. Clinton tops Sanders on handling other top issues:
  • 59 - 32 percent on health care;
  • 77 - 16 percent on foreign policy;
  • 68 - 20 percent on terrorism.
Sanders is better on climate change, 42 percent of Democratic Caucus-goers say, while 36 percent say Clinton is better.

"Secretary Hillary Clinton's strength is largely based on her appeal to Democratic women among whom she leads by 2-1, a daunting base for those trying to upset her candidacy," said Peter A. Brown, Assistant Director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Secretary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, seem to be playing a much gentler game than the nasty fight on the GOP side of the ledger."

"The San Bernardino massacre seems to be having an impact on which quality Iowa Democrats find most important in a presidential candidate," Brown added. "Less than a month ago, voters said caring about their needs and problems was most important. Now, caring is down 6 points, and having the right kind of experience is up 6 points. Having a long resume seems to be providing a sense of security to Democratic voters when faced with international unrest."

Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants give Sanders an 85 - 7 percent favorability rating. Clinton gets an 81 - 16 percent favorability.

Rating Clinton's personal qualities, Democrats say:
  • 69 - 25 percent that she is honest and trustworthy;
  • 92 - 7 percent that she has strong leadership qualities;
  • 79 - 19 percent that she cares about their needs and problems;
  • 76 - 20 percent that she shares their values;
  • 92 - 8 percent that she has the right kind of experience to be president.
Rating Sanders, Democrats say:
  • 92 - 3 percent that he is honest and trustworthy;
  • 82 - 10 percent that he has strong leadership qualities;
  • 93 - 4 percent that he cares about their needs and problems;
  • 86 - 8 percent that he shares their values;
  • 66 - 26 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, 89 percent of likely Democratic Caucus-goers say, while 57 percent say Sanders has a good chance of winning.

Homegrown jihadists pose a greater threat to the U.S., 62 percent of Iowa Democrats say, while 18 percent say radicalized foreign visitors are a greater threat and 11 percent say terrorists hiding among Syrian refugees are a greater threat.

Democrats support 89 - 8 percent banning people on the U.S. terrorism watch list from purchasing guns.

From December 4 - 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 727 Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 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.

or 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%    49%    56%    39%    59%    53%    48%
O'Malley              6      6      8      5      5      7      7      5
Sanders              40     48     42     34     52     32     36     44
DK/NA                 3      3      1      4      4      3      4      3
 
                     MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTIC Q76.................................
                     Shares                      Strong        Right         BestChance
                     Values        Cares         Leader        Experience    OfWinning
 
Clinton              33%           23%           67%           77%           71%
O'Malley             10             2             7             5             6
Sanders              56            71            23            15            21
DK/NA                 1             4             3             3             2
 
                     MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE Q56...........
                     Economy/      Health        Foreign
                     Jobs          Care          Policy
 
Clinton              44%           68%           65%
O'Malley              5             2             4
Sanders              47            27            30
DK/NA                 4             3             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              66%           71%           62%
Might change         33            27            37
DK/NA                 1             2             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               8%     5%     9%    11%    13%     5%     6%    11%
O'Malley             12     14      6     14     11     13     11     12
Sanders               4      2      3      7      3      5      5      3
No/No one            72     78     76     64     68     75     76     68
DK/NA                 7      4      5     10      8      6      3      9
 
 
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                 29%    41%    25%    22%    32%    26%    23%    33%
Less                 17     13     22     19     18     17     20     16
About the same       52     44     50     58     49     54     54     50
DK/NA                 2      2      3      2      2      2      3      2
 
 
5A. Have you attended any previous Iowa caucuses, or will this be your first caucus?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Attended previous    74%    77%    72%    74%    70%    77%    82%    68%
First caucus         26     23     28     26     29     23     17     32
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
 
Q53-55. Summary Table - Is your opinion of [Candidate] favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him/her? Table ranked by net favorability (Favorable - Unfavorable).
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS...........
                                   Hvn't               
                     Fav    Unfav  hrdEn  REF    NetFav
 
Sanders              85      7      6      1     78    
Clinton              81     16      2      1     65  
O'Malley             40      8     51      1     32
 
 
53. 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%    83%    79%    80%    76%    84%    84%    78%
Unfavorable          16     16     15     17     20     13     14     18
Hvn't hrd enough      2      1      4      2      2      2      2      2
REFUSED               1      -      2      2      2      1      1      2
 
 
54. 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            40%    52%    40%    32%    42%    38%    48%    33%
Unfavorable           8     10      3      9      8      8      8      8
Hvn't hrd enough     51     37     56     57     50     52     43     57
REFUSED               1      1      1      2      1      2      1      2
 
 
55. 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            85%    92%    92%    76%    88%    83%    89%    82%
Unfavorable           7      6      5     10      4     10      6      8
Hvn't hrd enough      6      2      3     11      7      6      4      9
REFUSED               1      -      1      2      1      1      1      1
 
 
56. 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     35%    32%    32%    39%    40%    30%    33%    36%
Terrorism             7      2      4     12      5      9      3     10
Immigration           3      6      4      1      4      3      2      4
Federal deficit       2      -      3      4      4      1      1      4
Health care          15     13     18     14     13     17     13     17
Foreign policy       10     12     10      8     11      9     12      8
Climate change       11     15     13      6     12     10     14      8
Race relations        2      2      1      3      2      2      2      2
Abortion              1      2      -      1      -      2      2      1
Taxes                 2      2      1      2      1      2      2      1
Gun policy            6      9      6      4      3      8      7      5
DK/NA                 6      5      7      6      4      7      7      5
 
 
57. 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              44%    39%    40%    50%    38%    49%    44%    44%
O'Malley              5      4      6      5      5      5      7      4
Sanders              45     56     44     39     53     39     44     46
DK/NA                 6      1      9      7      4      7      4      7
 
 
58. 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%    79%    76%    76%    73%    81%    79%    76%
O'Malley              2      1      2      2      3      1      3      1
Sanders              16     18     14     15     18     14     15     16
DK/NA                 5      2      7      7      6      5      4      7
 
 
59. 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              46%    47%    43%    46%    39%    51%    47%    45%
O'Malley              9     11     13      5      8      9     11      7
Sanders              32     36     33     29     37     28     32     32
DK/NA                14      7     11     20     16     12     10     17
 
 
60. 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              59%    52%    60%    62%    50%    65%    61%    56%
O'Malley              4      3      6      3      4      4      4      4
Sanders              32     43     27     27     42     24     29     34
DK/NA                 6      2      7      8      4      7      5      6
 
 
61. 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              49%    38%    46%    58%    36%    58%    47%    49%
O'Malley              5      6      8      3      4      5      6      4
Sanders              36     48     35     28     47     27     35     36
DK/NA                11      8     11     11     13      9     11     10
 
 
62. 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%    65%    74%    66%    64%    71%    74%    63%
O'Malley              3      2      3      2      3      2      3      2
Sanders              20     28     12     19     23     17     16     22
DK/NA                10      5     11     13     10     10      7     12
 
 
63. Regardless of who you are voting for, which Democratic candidate do you think can best handle - climate change?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Clinton              36%    28%    35%    43%    34%    39%    33%    39%
O'Malley              5      7      7      2      3      6      6      4
Sanders              42     56     45     31     47     38     48     37
DK/NA                17      9     13     24     16     18     13     20
 
 
64. 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                  69%    72%    67%    68%    61%    75%    68%    70%
No                   25     25     24     27     34     19     25     26
DK/NA                 5      3      9      5      5      5      7      4
 
 
65. 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                  92%    98%    93%    88%    93%    92%    95%    89%
No                    3      1      3      6      3      4      2      5
DK/NA                 4      1      4      6      5      4      3      6
 
 
66. 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                  92%    94%    95%    90%    89%    95%    94%    90%
No                    7      5      5     10     10      4      5      8
DK/NA                 1      1      -      1      1      1      1      1
 
 
67. 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                  82%    88%    86%    77%    84%    81%    84%    81%
No                   10     10      8     13      8     12     11     10
DK/NA                 7      2      6     10      8      7      5      9
 
 
68. 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                  79%    80%    83%    76%    74%    83%    82%    77%
No                   19     19     16     20     24     15     15     21
DK/NA                 2      1      -      4      3      2      3      2
 
 
69. 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                  93%    98%    95%    89%    95%    92%    95%    91%
No                    4      1      3      7      2      5      4      4
DK/NA                 3      1      2      4      3      3      1      5
 
 
70. 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                  92%    97%    91%    89%    88%    95%    95%    90%
No                    8      3      9     10     11      5      5     10
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      -      -      -      1
 
 
71. 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%    66%    59%    73%    61%    66%    66%
No                   26     21     25     31     20     30     27     24
DK/NA                 8      2      9     10      8      9      7      9
 
 
72. 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%    74%    81%    76%    67%    83%    80%    73%
No                   20     19     17     22     29     13     16     23
DK/NA                 4      7      2      2      4      4      4      4
 
 
73. 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                  86%    93%    89%    80%    86%    85%    90%    82%
No                    8      4      7     13      8      8      6     10
DK/NA                 6      3      5      8      5      6      3      8
 
 
74. 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                  89%    96%    87%    84%    85%    92%    91%    87%
No                    9      3      8     14     15      4      6     11
DK/NA                 3      2      5      2      1      4      3      2
 
 
75. 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                  57%    67%    61%    48%    66%    51%    52%    62%
No                   34     26     30     44     28     39     38     31
DK/NA                 8      7      9      8      6     10      9      7
 
 
76. 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%    17%    12%    13%    22%     9%    16%    13%
Cares needs/problems 17     18     20     15     16     18     13     20
Strong leadership    17     13     15     20     15     18     15     18
Honest/trustworthy   15     12     18     15     17     13     12     17
Right experience     18     21     14     19     14     21     17     18
Best chance/winning  16     17     17     15     14     17     24     10
DK/NA                 4      2      4      4      3      5      3      4
 
 
77. 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              79%    95%    84%    64%    78%    80%    92%    70%
Oppose               15      3      8     29     17     15      6     23
DK/NA                 6      2      7      7      6      6      3      7
 
 
78. Which do you think poses a greater terrorist threat to the U.S.: terrorists hiding among Syrian refugees, radicalized foreign visitors or so-called "homegrown jihadists"?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Terrorist refugees   11%     2%     6%    20%    10%    11%     3%    17%
Radicalized visitors 18     10     24     19     15     19     21     15
Homegrown jihadists  62     76     60     53     63     61     66     58
DK/NA                10     11     10      9     12      8     10     10
 
 
79. Do you support or oppose changing current gun laws to ban those on the U.S. government's terrorist watch list from purchasing guns?
                     LIKELY DEM CAUCUS-GOERS..............................
                            POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
                            LIBERAL.....  Mod/                 COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Very   Smwht  Cons   Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              89%    91%    92%    85%    86%    91%    94%    84%
Oppose                8      5      5     11     10      6      3     11
DK/NA                 4      4      3      4      4      4      2      5
 
 
80. 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              36%    24%    30%    47%    38%    34%    26%    43%
Oppose               58     71     62     46     58     58     67     51
DK/NA                 7      5      7      7      4      9      7      6
 
 
81. 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              38%    37%    40%    39%    46%    33%    35%    41%
Losing               37     37     35     38     33     39     42     33
DK/NA                25     26     24     23     21     28     23     26
 
 

Sample and Methodology detail