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Hillary Meter: Clinton Holds Steady As Favorite

Monday, September 21, 2015

It’s been a rough few months for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but the Democratic nomination remains hers to lose.

The latest Hillary Meter finds that 75% of Likely Democratic Voters believe that Clinton is likely to be the their party’s presidential candidate, up one point from the previous month. Only 22% of Democrats think Clinton is unlikely to be the nominee. These findings include 40% who think Clinton is Very Likely to win the nomination, up from 35% a month ago, and just six percent (6%) who say she is Not At All Likely to do so. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In the first edition of the Hillary Meter in July, 87% of Democratic voters expected a Clinton nomination, with 53% who considered it Very Likely.

By comparison, while support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders among Democrats surged over the summer, only 36% think he’ll end up as the Democratic nominee.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Democrats think Vice President Joe Biden is at least somewhat likely to end up as the Democratic nominee should he decide to run, but that includes just 10% who say it is Very Likely.

Among all Likely Voters, 60% now believe that Clinton is likely to be the next Democratic presidential candidate. That’s down only slightly from 63% in August but includes just 24% who say her candidacy is Very Likely. Last month's overall findings were a 15-point drop from July when 78% said Clinton was likely to win the nomination, with 43% who felt it was Very Likely. Thirty-four percent (34%) now consider that outcome unlikely, with 13% who say it is Not At All Likely.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 14-15, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Rasmussen Reports will continue to release the Hillary Meter monthly to regularly update public perceptions of the former first lady on her march to the White House. We’ve also added a weekly Friday feature called Trump Change, which tracks Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s performance in the GOP race. Rasmussen Reports will consider regular tracking features for other candidates depending on the dynamics of the race.

The growing investigation of Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during her tenure as secretary of State continues to plague her campaign. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters think it’s likely she broke the law by sending and receiving e-mails containing classified information through this private e-mail server.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters still view Clinton as politically liberal, little changed from last month. Only six percent (6%) say she is conservative, while 30% consider her a moderate. In the first Hillary Meter – in April 2005 – 43% said Clinton was liberal, eight percent (8%) conservative and 34% moderate.

Among Democrats, 50% now consider Clinton a moderate, 31% a liberal and 11% a conservative.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters not affiliated with either major political party think Clinton is likely to be the Democratic nominee, but only 14% say it’s Very Likely.

Among Republican voters, 52% consider a Clinton nomination likely, including 18% who say it’s Very Likely.

Women are only slightly more likely than men to think that Clinton is likely to win the nomination, but more men consider the outcome Very Likely.

Most self-described conservative voters (80%) see Clinton as a liberal, but most liberals (62%) think she’s moderate. A plurality 45%) of moderate voters says the former first lady’s liberal, but 33% of these voters think she is moderate.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of Democrats - and 46% of all voters - think Clinton should suspend her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination until all of the legal questions about her use of the private e-mail server are resolved.

Who do voters trust more - Clinton or Trump - when it comes to the major issues facing the nation?

Democrats are planning to hold six debates for their 2016 presidential candidates, the first one next month, but at least two of the candidates say that’s not enough. Most Democrats (54%), however, think six debates are about right.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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To learn more about our methodology, click here.