A week since the first debate, it's becoming clearer every day that my initial assessment was correct: Hillary won and it wasn't even close.
A couple of brand-new polls out today show huge momentum for Clinton. The first is from New Hampshire, where PPP finds a pretty astonishing turnaround in this crucial early state:
PPP's new New Hampshire Democratic poll finds that Hillary Clinton's moved back into the lead in the state. She gets 41% to 33% for Bernie Sanders with Joe Biden at only 11%, Martin O'Malley at 4%, and Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb each at 2%. Since PPP last polled New Hampshire in August Clinton's gone up 6 points from her then 35% standing, while Sanders has dropped 9 points from his then 42% standing.
Clinton's rise comes as her image with Democratic voters in the state has improved by a good amount. Her favorability (+56 at 73/17) has improved a net 18 points from August when she was at +38 (63/25) with primary voters. The key for her is that she has narrowed things up among Sanders' core groups of supporters. With 'very liberal' voters Sanders leads her only 43/42, with men Sanders leads her only 35/34, and with younger voters Sanders is ahead 42/34. Meanwhile Clinton remains dominant with the groups most friendly to her- she's up 50/24 with seniors, 47/31 with women, and leads by at least 8 points with every ideological group besides 'very liberal' voters.
Independents are a big part of the puzzle even keeping New Hampshire competitive at all. They account for about a third of the Democratic primary electorate, and Sanders has a 40/32 advantage over Clinton with them. Among actual Democrats Clinton leads Sanders by 18 points at 47/29, pretty similar to the national picture- it's really the unusual representation of non-Democrats in the Democratic primary in the state that has the race there looking competitive. ...
If Biden doesn't end up running for the nomination Clinton will benefit, since 40% of Biden voters say she would be their second choice to only 15% for Sanders. Reallocate Biden backers to their next pick, and Clinton's lead over Sanders goes up to 45/35.It will be interesting to see what the Iowa numbers look like, but it seems likely that a similar shift has occurred there...especially with the kind of numbers we are seeing nationally in today's ABC/Washington Post poll. The headline, Clinton Rebounds in Democratic Race, Gaining Against Sanders and Biden Alike, says it all:
Hillary Clinton has followed a successful debate performance by rebounding in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, regaining ground against Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden alike.
With anticipation surrounding Biden at a peak, Clinton has 54 percent support in interviews Thursday through Sunday, compared with Sanders’ 23 percent and Biden’s 16 percent. That’s 12 percentage points better for Clinton than her position a month ago, bringing her halfway back to her level of support in the spring and summer, before her September stumble.
Clinton’s debate performance may be a factor in her improvement among Democrats and Democratic leaners; a plurality, 45 percent, think she won last week’s debate, more than twice as many as pick Sanders, 19 percent. The rest have no opinion or see no winner. ...
Clinton’s support for the nomination is more than double Sanders’ and triple the unannounced Biden’s. Leaving Biden out of the equation, she has even more support, 64 percent, compared with 25 percent for Sanders, with others in the low single digits. That’s improved slightly for Clinton from a 56-28 percent race vs. Sanders in September.
Measured just against Sanders, Clinton prevails on empathy, her positions on the issues and, especially, electability, leading him on these by 51-37 percent, 53-36 percent and 73-21 percent, respectively.But if that's not enough and you're hungry for even more post-debate national polls basically saying the same thing, check out Monmonth (Clinton +27), Reuters/Ipsos (Clinton +24), NBC/WSJ (Clinton +20) and CNN/ORC (Clinton +16).
Onward to victory!