Hillary Clinton may have amassed a nearly insurmountable lead in delegates, but rank-and-file Democrats are now virtually split between her and Bernie Sanders over which candidate should be their party’s presidential nominee, according to a new PRRI / The Atlantic poll.

Sanders had the support of 47 percent of Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters while Clinton had 46 percent—a narrow gap that fell within the poll’s 2.5 percent margin of error. The national survey was conducted in the days before the Vermont senator handily defeated the former secretary of state in the Wisconsin primary, and it tracks other polls in the last week that found Sanders erasing Clinton’s edge across the country. In a poll that PRRI conducted in January, Clinton had a 20-point lead.

Trump is still in the lead,

but Sanders and Clinton are tied

Trump tops the Republican field, as he has for months.

But fresh from a string of primary victories,

Sanders has pulled into a statistical tie with Clinton among registered voters.

Trump

37%

Cruz

31%

Kasich

23%

Sanders

47%

Clinton

46%

Source | PRRI/The Atlantic April 2016 Poll

Trump is still in the lead,

but Sanders and

Clinton are tied

Trump tops the Republican field,

as he has for months. But fresh from a string

of primary victories, Sanders has pulled

into a statistical tie with Clinton

among registered voters.

Trump

37%

Cruz

31%

Kasich

23%

Sanders

47%

Clinton

46%

Source | PRRI/The Atlantic April 2016 Poll

Democrats are sharply divided by age and by party loyalty. Sanders is strongly preferred by younger voters, both women and men, while Clinton does better with older voters and those who closely identify with the Democratic Party. Sanders, by contrast, runs strong among weaker partisans and independents—a finding that has also been reflected in exit polls taken after people have already cast their votes.

The gap in party loyalty might explain why Clinton has been highlighting Sanders’s tenuous past connection to the Democratic Party in recent days. “He’s a relatively new Democrat,” Clinton told Politico’s Glenn Thrush in a podcast interview published on Wednesday. “I’m not even sure he is one.” She repeated the message in two separate television interviews later in the morning. “Senator Sanders, by his own admission, has never even been a Democrat,” she said on CNN. Sanders describes himself as a Democratic socialist and has won election in Vermont as an independent, although he caucuses with Democrats in the Senate. He considered running for president as an independent before determining he had a better chance of spreading his message in the Democratic primary.

Clinton has a 21-point advantage among Democrats with a strong attachment to the party, the poll found, while Sanders leads 61 percent to 32 percent among Democratic-leaning independents. The age gap was equally as large. Nearly three-quarters of voters ages 18-29 backed Sanders, and two-thirds of seniors support Clinton. Sanders’s strength among younger voters has allowed him to close Clinton’s lead with women; 46 percent back her to 44 percent for Sanders. Only one-third of women under the age of 50 want Clinton to be the Democratic nominee, the poll found. “It really is age more than gender that makes the difference here,” said Robert P. Jones, who directed the poll for the Public Religion Research Institute, a Washington-based nonpartisan think tank. Sanders leads by nine points among white Democrats, while Clinton has a nearly two-to-one edge among African Americans. The candidates are essentially tied among Hispanic Democrats.

Age makes a huge difference

in how Democratic women vote

One of the bigger splits dividing Clinton and Sanders among registered voters lies between older and younger Democratic women. Younger female voters go for Sanders, but if they’re 50 or older,

they probably support Clinton.

Democratic women under 50

Democratic women 50 and older

Support Clinton: 61%

Support Clinton: 33%

Democratic women under 50

Democratic women 50 and older

Support Sanders: 58%

Support Sanders: 29%

Source | PRRI/The Atlantic April 2016 Poll

Age makes a

huge difference in how

Democratic women vote

One of the bigger splits dividing Clinton

and Sanders among registered voters lies

between older and younger Democratic women. Younger female voters go

for Sanders, but if they’re 50 or older,

they probably support Clinton.

Democratic women under 50

Support Clinton: 33%

Democratic women 50 and older

Support Clinton: 61%

Democratic women under 50

Support Sanders: 58%

Democratic women 50 and older

Support Sanders: 29%

Source | PRRI/The Atlantic April 2016 Poll

In the race for the GOP nomination, Donald Trump held a six-point lead over Senator Ted Cruz among Republican and Republican-leaning voters, the poll found. Ohio Governor John Kasich had the support of 23 percent of respondents. What separates Cruz and Trump? According to the survey, their respective supporters differ more in their views about race and gender than in their economic status. Trump supporters (68 percent) were more likely than Cruz supports (57 percent) to say that American society has become too “soft and feminine”;  that the government paid too much attention to black people (55 percent Trump, 38 percent Cruz); and that they are bothered by immigrants who speak little or no English (64 percent Trump, 46 percent Cruz).

Many Trump supporters are uncomfortable

with immigrants who speak little English

Nearly two-thirds of his supporters say they’re bothered when they meet immigrants who speak little to no English.

Trump

64%

Cruz

46%

Kasich

38%

Clinton

26%

Sanders

21%

Source | PRRI/The Atlantic April 2016 Poll

Many Trump supporters are uncomfortable

with immigrants

who speak little English

Nearly two-thirds of his supporters say they’re bothered when they meet immigrants

who speak little to no English.

Trump

64%

Cruz

46%

Kasich

38%

Clinton

26%

Sanders

21%

Source | PRRI/The Atlantic April 2016 Poll

The poll did find widespread opposition to one of Trump’s most well-known and controversial proposals: his call to temporarily ban all non-citizen Muslims from entering the U.S. “We see that being pretty soundly rejected across the board,” Jones said. Even among Trump supporters, fewer than half supported the Muslim ban.

At the same time, nearly two-thirds of Trump backers agreed with the statement that the nation has gone so far off the wrong track that it needs a leader “willing to break the rules” to set things right. Just four-in-10 Cruz supporters agreed with that statement, and fewer than half of the other candidates’ supporters did either.

Trump and Kasich supporters

are pushing the GOP left on taxes

For years, lowering taxes has been a key point of Republican orthodoxy. But Trump and Kasich

supporters have a higher-than-usual willingness

to consider tax hikes on the wealthy, bringing the GOP closer to the Democratic level of support.

Republicans

Democrats

Favor raising taxes

on high earners: 77%

Favor raising taxes

on high earners: 41%

In this election cycle, Cruz is the odd man out on taxation.

Candidate supporters who favor raising taxes

on high earners

Sanders

77%

Clinton

69%

Trump

48%

Kasich

47%

Cruz

39%

Source | PRRI/The Atlantic April 2016 Poll

Trump and Kasich

supporters are pushing the GOP left on taxes

For years, lowering taxes has been a key point of Republican orthodoxy. But Trump and Kasich supporters have a higher-than-usual willingness to consider tax hikes on

the wealthy, bringing the GOP closer to the Democratic level of support.

Republicans

Favor raising taxes

on high earners: 41%

Democrats

Favor raising taxes

on high earners: 77%

In this election cycle, Cruz is the odd man

out on taxation.

Candidate supporters who favor raising taxes

on high earners

Sanders

77%

Clinton

69%

Trump

48%

Kasich

47%

Cruz

39%

Source | PRRI/The Atlantic April 2016 Poll

The poll found a sharp divide among supporters of the two leading candidates in both parties, although there was more animosity on the GOP side. More than six-in-10 Trump supporters have an unfavorable view of Cruz, and a nearly identical percentage of Cruz supporters have an unfavorable view of Trump. Among Democrats, a majority of Clinton supporters have a favorable view of Sanders, while just 43 percent of Sanders backers have a favorable view of Clinton.

Few people like their candidate’s rival,

except for Clinton supporters

More than half of Clinton supporters like Sanders,

but that positive net favorability is unique among this field.

Cruz on Trump

Trump on Cruz

Favorable

Favorable

34%

31%

Unfavorable

Unfavorable

63%

66%

Don’t know

Don’t know

3%

3%

Sanders on Clinton

Clinton on Sanders

Favorable

Favorable

43%

53%

Unfavorable

Unfavorable

54%

35%

Don’t know

Don’t know

4%

11%

Source | PRRI/The Atlantic April 2016 Poll

Few people like their

candidate’s rival,

except for Clinton

supporters

More than half of Clinton supporters

like Sanders, but that positive net favorability is unique among this field.

Trump on Cruz

Favorable

31%

Unfavorable

66%

Don’t know

3%

Cruz on Trump

Favorable

34%

Unfavorable

63%

Don’t know

3%

Clinton on Sanders

Favorable

53%

Unfavorable

35%

Don’t know

11%

Sanders on Clinton

Favorable

43%

Unfavorable

54%

Don’t know

4%

Source | PRRI/The Atlantic April 2016 Poll

Donald Hoskin, a 77-year-old Trump supporter from Missouri, praised the businessman’s policies on immigration and trade. “He’s out of the Washington clique,” Hoskin said. He was less enamored of Cruz. “He’s a true politician,” Hoskin said of the Texas senator. “Sneaky.”


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