Question: Does Bernie Sanders have a “better message” vs. Hillary Clinton? Major media and certain Democrats who love Sanders say “yes,” and have been saying so for a long time. What is the evidence from the latest public opinion surveys?
The opposite. Clinton has a far more effective and popular message among Democratic voters.
Today’s headline, Sunday, January 17: “Hillary Clinton Widens Lead Over Bernie Sanders:”
Though race is tight in Iowa and New Hampshire, new poll suggests strong advantage in later primaries
[Based on national survey between January 9-13 of 400 voters who say they will vote in a Democratic primary – this is a margin of error of plus/minus 4.9%]
–59%-34% [larger than 19-point gap in December]
“While losses [in Iowa and New Hampshire] would be a setback for Mrs. Clinton, the Journal/NBC News survey suggests she would retain strong advantages in the later primaries.” Mrs. Clinton owes her durable lead nationally to her strength with key subgroups in the Democratic primary electorate, including nonwhite, older and moderate-to-conservative primary voters.” And she leads Donald Trump by +10% 51% – 41% [Sanders leads by +15%, 54%-39%, but that difference of 5% is within margin of error, meaning they poll the same statistically over Trump.]
–HRC leads nationally
–65%-27% among women
–Statistical dead heat among younger voters, ages 18-49
–71%-27% among 50+ voters
–52%-39% among those who “change”
–77%-19% among voters who want “experience”
–54%-43% among “liberals” [Sanders is more “progressive” according to Bernie supporters who “feel the burn” — really?]
–64%-24% among moderates/conservatives
–And +15% among white voters and –notably – 69% among “nonwhite primary voters”
–80% of Democrats say they could see themselves voting for Clinton – vs. 67% would consider voting for Sanders
Later states after Iowa and New Hampshire — state-by-state latest RealClearPolitics average of last four weeks of all state polls results — Clinton leads by substantial double digits:
–South Carolina: +40% [!!!!]
–Massachusetts: + 20.5 [Sanders neighboring state!]
–Minnesota: +36 [One of most liberal Democratic electorates in the nation]
–North Carolina: +36
–Florida: +43 [!!!!]
–Ohio: +19 [latest Quinnipiac poll in October]
The above confirms, without any doubt, that as of now (things can change!), that Clinton has the more effective message and campaign for a substantial margin among Democratic voters vs. Sanders — despite media and many others who believe what they read stating exactly the opposite, especially in the last week.
Lanny Davis served as special counsel to former President Clinton and is principal in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Lanny J. Davis & Associates, and Executive Vice President of the strategic communications firm, LEVICK. He is the author of a recently published book, Crisis Tales: Five Rules for Coping with Crises in Business, Politics, and Life (Threshold Editions/Simon and Schuster).