BOSTON, Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A new poll shows former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton extending her lead over Senator Bernie Sanders by a margin of 68% to 20%. This sizable boost may indicate she is winning over would-be supporters of Vice President Joe Biden, who was included in a prior poll in September, but not the most recent one. Support for Sanders has remained flat since September at 20%. Biden's window of opportunity to join the race may be closing; when asked if he should run, 43% of respondents said no, compared to 32% who said he should.
Clinton's bounce might also be attributed to last week's Democratic debate. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of those surveyed watched the debate, with 36% saying Clinton won, 17% giving the nod to Sanders, and 40% saying they were undecided about the outcome.
On the Republican side of the race, Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson continue to lead the GOP pack. Trump's 32% support reflected a 1-point drop from the September poll, while Carson edged up 3 points, from 20% to 23%. Marco Rubio improved from 8% to 14%, appearing to draw voters away from Jeb Bush, who fell to 8% from 12%. Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina, with 6% each, trailed well behind the leaders.
The general election remains very tight. In head-to-head matchups, Clinton trails Trump (46% to 44%) and Carson (47% to 45%). She is tied with Rubio at 44%, and holds a slight margin over Bush (45% to 43%).
Of all the candidates, Carson is the one most favorably viewed by women and younger voters. His favorable/unfavorable ratio with women is 54/31 (+23) compared to Trump's 42/50 (-8) and Bush's 38/59 (-21). By a wide margin, women view Clinton unfavorably, 38/60 (-22). Sanders' has the biggest gender disparity gap, -31 points among females. In the 18-34 age group, Carson's net favorability is +14, compared to Trump (0), Clinton (-22) and Sanders (-10).
While religion has been a major element of discussion and coverage in past presidential campaigns, it appears Sanders being Jewish is at this time, not an issue. The majority of voters are unsure of Sander's religious views with 23% identifying him as Jewish, while 48% were not sure. If elected, Sanders would be the first Jewish president.
The Emerson College Polling Society poll was conducted from Friday, October 16 through Saturday, October 17. The polling sample for the Democratic and GOP primaries consisted of 390 and 403 likely primary voters, respectively, with a margin of error of +/-4.9% and +/-4.8%, margin of error and 783 registered general election voters with a +/-3.4%, and a 95% confidence level. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The full methodology and results can be found at www.theecps.com.
SOURCE Emerson College Polling Society