Quinnipiac poll: Sanders quickly melting away Clinton lead; Trump still tops GOP field

In the Democratic presidential race nationwide, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has 44 percent, with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 42 percent, and 11 percent undecided. This compares to a 61 – 30 percent Clinton lead in a December 22 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University Poll.

Donald Trump still leads the GOP pack among Republican voters nationwide, with 31 percent, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas with 22 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida with 19 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today. Dr. Ben Carson has 6 percent, with 9 percent undecided and no other candidate above 3 percent.

Sanders and Rubio are the strongest candidates in general election matchups. If former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg runs, he hurts Sanders more than he hurts any of the top Republican contenders.

Among Republicans, 30 percent say they “would definitely not support” Trump, while 15 percent say no to Cruz and 7 percent say no to Rubio.

Sanders has the highest favorability rating among top candidates, while Trump has the lowest.

“Democrats nationwide are feeling the Bern as Sen. Bernie Sanders closes a 31-point gap to tie Secretary Hillary Clinton,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“And despite the Iowa setback, Donald Trump is way ahead of his GOP opponents.”

“But that’s not the whole story nine months before Election Day. In mano a mano, or mano a womano, face-offs with all contenders, Sanders and Rubio would be the candidates left standing,” Malloy added.

“Although he is characterized as the New York counterpunch to Trump, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is more the nemesis of Bernie than he is of Donald.”

General election matchups among American voters show:

  • Clinton tops Trump 46 – 41 percent;
  • Clinton ties Cruz 45 – 45 percent;
  • Clinton trails Rubio 48 – 41 percent;
  • Sanders thumps Trump 49 – 39 percent;
  • Sanders edges Cruz 46 – 42 percent;
  • Sanders and Rubio are tied 43 – 43 percent. If Bloomberg runs as a third party candidate in some contests, results are:
  • Sanders at 35 percent, with Trump at 36 percent and Bloomberg at 15 percent;
  • Sanders at 37 percent, with Cruz at 36 percent and Bloomberg at 15 percent.

Sanders has a 44 – 35 percent favorability rating among American voters. Ratings for other candidates are:

  • Negative 39 – 56 percent for Clinton;
  • Negative 34 – 59 percent for Trump;
  • Negative 36 – 42 percent for Cruz;
  • Positive 42 – 28 percent for Rubio;
  • Negative 20 – 25 percent for Bloomberg with 53 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.

“While Trump, Clinton and Cruz wallow in a negative favorability swamp, by comparison, Rubio and Sanders are rock stars,” Malloy said.

From February 2 – 4, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,125 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. The survey includes 507 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points and 484 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points. 

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. 

Visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

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