The Iowa Democratic Caucus is going down to the wire as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders wins the support of 49 percent of likely Democratic Caucus participants, with 44 percent for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 4 percent for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
“Iowa may well become Sen. Bernie Sanders’ ‘Field of Dreams,’ said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
“After three months of Secretary Hillary Clinton holding an average 10-point lead among Iowa Democrats, the playing field has changed.
“Sen. Sanders’ surge seems based on the perception by Iowa Democrats that he is a better fit for Iowans. They see him, by solid double digit margins as more sharing their values, more honest and trustworthy and viewed more favorably overall than is Secretary Clinton.”
“Iowa likely Democratic Caucus-goers see Sanders as better able to handle the economy and climate change, two important issues for Democrats and a key asset for him in the home stretch,” Brown added.
“The Democratic race is different than the GOP contest because it lacks a divisive tone. Iowa Democrats like both major candidates personally; they just like Sen. Sanders more.
“While former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has been an also-ran in the race, his handful of supporters could be crucial if the Sanders-Clinton race goes down to the wire.”
The economy and jobs is the most important issue for 35 percent of Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants in deciding their vote, as 15 percent list health care; 11 percent cite climate change and 9 percent say foreign policy.
Sanders can best handle the economy, 51 percent of Democrats say, while 39 percent say Clinton can do better on this issue.
Sanders also leads 51 – 32 percent on handling climate change.
According to the poll, Clinton has a 70 – 23 percent lead on handling foreign policy and another big 63 – 24 percent lead handling terrorism. She has a narrow 48 – 43 percent lead on health care.
Sanders also leads Clinton on most character traits as Democratic Caucus-goers say:
93 – 3 that he is honest and trustworthy, compared to Clinton’s 66 – 29 percent score:
89 – 9 percent that Clinton has strong leadership qualities, compared to Sanders’ 87 – 7 percent leadership rating;
96 – 1 percent that Sanders cares about their needs and problems, compared to Clinton’s 76 – 21 percent score;
89 – 10 percent that Clinton has the right experience to be president, with Sanders at 74 – 17 percent;
88 – 7 percent that Sanders shares their values, with Clinton at 72 – 24 percent.
From January 5 – 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 492 Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 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