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Hillary Meter: Are Democrats Less Certain About A Clinton Nomination?

Following their party’s fourth debate yesterday evening, most Democratic voters still believe Hillary Clinton will be the party’s nominee this November, but they feel less strongly than they have in recent surveys.

The latest Rasmussen Reports monthly Hillary Meter finds that 83% of Likely Democratic Voters think Clinton is likely to be their party’s presidential nominee in 2016. That now includes 43% who say it is Very Likely, down from 56% in December and 58% in November.  Still, just 14% feel the former secretary of State and first lady is not very or Not At All Likely to win the nomination. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

It is important to note that the survey was conducted two nights prior and the evening of the Democrats’ latest pre-primary debate.

The number of Democrats who consider a Clinton nomination Very Likely is the lowest it's been since September when 40% felt that way. Confidence in Clinton’s chances faded slightly after our first Hillary Meter in July but jumped following her performance in the second debate in early November.

Among all likely voters, 73% believe Clinton is the likely Democratic nominee, with just 34% who now say it is Very Likely. Those findings are down from 80% and 52% a month ago. Twenty-five percent (25%) disagree, but that includes just nine percent (9%) who say it’s Not At All Likely.

By comparison, our latest weekly Trump Change survey finds that 74% of Likely Republican Voters – and 58% of all voters – think Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee next year.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 14 and January 17, 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.

A survey taken just after the third Democratic debate in December found Clinton earning 46% support from Likely Democratic Voters, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders draws 30% support.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of all voters believe Clinton in political terms is a liberal. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say she is a moderate, while just six percent (6%) describe her as conservative. These findings have changed little from past surveys, but in Rasmussen Reports’ first Hillary Meter – in April 2005 during her last run for the presidency - 43% said Clinton was liberal, 34% moderate and eight percent (8%) conservative.

Among Democrats, just 37% consider Clinton politically liberal; 47% think she’s moderate and eight percent (8%) a conservative. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Republicans and 64% of voters not affiliated with either major party say Clinton is a liberal.

While women are more likely to see a Clinton nomination as likely overall, the two are in general agreement that that outcome is Very Likely.

Interestingly, voters under 40 now see a Clinton nomination as more likely than their elders do. Sanders holds a slight edge over Clinton among younger voters on a hypothetical primary ballot.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of black voters think it’s Very Likely Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, a view shared by just 32% of white voters and 33% of other minority voters.

Clinton appeared to make an even stronger effort to link herself with the policies of President Obama in last night’s debate. Most Democrats consider an Obama endorsement important to how they vote this fall. But voters regardless of partisan affiliation agree that the upcoming election will have little to do with the president’s record and will be more about the future agendas of the two major parties

While 71% of Republicans are looking forward to this year's presidential race, 44% of Democrats have already had enough of it.

Just 36% of all voters now think Bill Clinton will help his wife’s run for the presidency.

Hillary Clinton and Trump are all tied up in a hypothetical 2016 matchup. 

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

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 14 and January 17, 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.

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