Hillary Clinton Maintains Lead in Des Moines Register Poll

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Hillary Clinton at the CNN Democratic Debate at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Tuesday, October 13, 2015.
Hillary Clinton at the CNN Democratic Debate at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Tuesday, October 13, 2015.

DES MOINES, Iowa  — Hillary Clinton has a nine point lead over Bernie Sanders in Iowa, according to a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll released Monday.

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and former secretary of state, wins the support of 48% of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers, according to the survey, an increase from the 42% that picked her first in the same poll conducted in early October.

Sanders, the independent Vermont senator, did not have as big of a jump in support, with 39% now picking him as their first choice, up two points from 37% in October.

Martin O’Malley remains largely a non-factor in the race with just 4% of likely caucusgoers indicating that the former Maryland governor is their top choice. That is less than the 6% of Iowa Democrats who remain “uncommitted.”

The three Democrats left in the party’s race for the presidential nomination have all spent considerable time in Iowa, crisscrossing the first-in-the-nation caucus state. With just 50 days left until the Iowa caucuses, that travel is likely to increase.

The new poll was conducted by Ann Selzer, a pollster widely seen as the gold standard in Iowa polling.

The poll also finds that both Clinton and Sanders are viewed favorably by Iowa Democrats. Eighty-two percent indicated that they have a favorable view of Clinton, with 80% said the same about Sanders.

And the poll shows that a national trend is also playing out in Iowa: Clinton does better with older voters, while Sanders — the oldest candidate in the Democratic field — does better with younger people.

Clinton has the support of 64% of Iowa Democrats 65 and older, while Sanders has the support of 58% of people younger than 45%. Those numbers are similar to a national Fox News poll released this weekend.

Sanders headlined seven events in Iowa this weekend, speaking to a mix of veteran groups and at broader rallies. During a press conference in Davenport on Sunday, the Vermont senator acknowledged his problem with aging voters.

“We are doing very badly among older people and I want to change that. We will change that,” Sanders said. “Here is my prediction to you. On election night, if the voter turnout is high, you can go to bed early, we win. If the voter turn out is low, we probably will not win.”

Clinton, who has visited Iowa 18 times as a candidate, will be back in the state Wednesday when she headlines events in Iowa City and Mason City.

The poll was conducted from December 7-10, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points and is based on interviews with 404 likely Democratic caucusgoers.

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