Democrats Like Both Clinton And Sanders, But Don't Want Either To Seek Presidency Again

A 54 percent majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents view both politicians favorably.
Former Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appear at a campaign event in Durham, New Hampshire, on Sept. 28, 2016.
Former Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appear at a campaign event in Durham, New Hampshire, on Sept. 28, 2016.
Brian Snyder/Reuters

Most Democrats still like both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, but few want to see either run for president again, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.

The poll comes as both of the former Democratic presidential candidates have garnered headlines: Clinton for the promotion of her campaign book, What Happened, and Sanders for his most recent effort to introduce single-payer health insurance.

Seventy-one percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents hold a favorable view of Clinton, with 24 percent viewing her negatively. Sanders holds a similar favorability rating, with 73 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners rating him positively, and slightly lower unfavorables, with 18 percent rating him negatively. (Among just Democrats, Clinton’s favorability rating is 76 percent, with Sanders at 71 percent.)

Democrats and Democratic leaners say by a 10-point margin, 49 percent to 39 percent, that Clinton was not the party’s best option for a nominee last year. Fourteen percent say she was mostly to blame for Trump’s victory, with 37 percent calling her somewhat at fault, 24 percent saying that she’s not very much at fault, and 16 percent saying that she’s not to blame at all.

Looking forward, just 20 percent want to see Clinton run for president again, but 47 percent say they’d like to see her remain active in politics in other ways, while 23 percent want her to retire. Thirty percent want to see Sanders take another stab at the presidency, with 46 percent preferring him to engage in other facets of politics, and 12 percent wishing he would retire.

Both the “Clinton wing” and “Sanders wing” of the party ― defined as those who view one of those politicians positively, but the other negatively ― are relatively small. A 54 percent majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents view both Clinton and Sanders favorably, according to the poll. Sixteen percent like Sanders but not Clinton, while 12 percent like Clinton, but not Sanders. Another 6 percent hold a negative view of both.

Americans as a whole give Clinton a negative rating, with 52 percent viewing her unfavorably to the 36 percent who rate her favorably. Sanders is seen more positively, with 42 percent of the American public viewing him favorably, and just 37 percent unfavorably.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:


POLLS PAINT A MIXED PICTURE OF VIRGINIA’S GUBERNATORIAL RACE: Four new polls of this year’s upcoming Virginia gubernatorial election show differing views of the race between Ralph Northam, Virginia’s Democratic lieutenant governor, and Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, though all find Northam tied or ahead.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday gives Northam a 10-point lead, while Suffolk University and Mason-Dixon show the race as effectively a dead heat, with Northam even with Gillespie or up by 1, respectively. In between, the University of Mary Washington gives Northam a modest 5-point edge. With the exception of Quinnipiac, Northam’s percentage has remained relatively consistent at between 42 and 44 percent in recent polls, while Gillespie’s numbers have varied more significantly.

NOT ALL TRUMP VOTERS OPPOSE DACA ― BUT HIS STAUNCHEST FANS MOSTLY DO: HuffPost: “President Donald Trump’s supporters are far from united in opposing the goals of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds. But those with anti-immigration views are the ones who feel most strongly about the issue. More than likely, they’re also among the core backers who helped propel him to victory over his more mainstream Republican rivals. ... Trump voters who currently ‘strongly approve’ of the president’s job performance oppose DACA by a 33-point margin. Those who only ‘somewhat approve’ of the president, by contrast, are 7 points likelier to support the program than they are to oppose it. ... Hard-line views on immigration were among the touchstones differentiating Trump’s primary supporters from the Republicans who fell in line only after he became the party’s official standard-bearer.” [HuffPost]

PLUS ÇA CHANGE, PARTISANSHIP EDITION: Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto, on a review of a CBS panel study tracking the partisan affiliation of thousands of Americans: “Party attachments have remained very stable in 2017, with neither Republicans nor Democrats able to draw many independents over to their side so far. Democrats aren’t becoming Republicans en masse, nor are Republicans becoming Democrats, and the few who have vacillated between parties aren’t as likely to vote in the first place ― which sheds light on why today’s politics often seems dominated by partisans. ... Overall, 91 percent of respondents identified with the same party in their most recent interview as they did the first time we talked to them this winter.” [CBS]


Trump job approval among all Americans: 40% approve, 54% disapprove

Trump job approval among Democrats: 10% approve, 86% disapprove

Trump job approval among Republicans: 82% approve, 16% disapprove

Trump job approval among independents: 35% approve, 57% disapprove

Generic House: 41% Democratic candidate, 34% Republican candidate

Obamacare favorability: 47% favor, 42% oppose

‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-A slim majority of Americans approve of President Trump’s handling of the economy. [Gallup]

-Polls find relatively positive remarks for Trump’s hurricane response. [SurveyMonkey, Marist]

-Most people don’t understand the procedure for the president to order a nuclear strike. [Ipsos]

-GOP voters still want to see Obamacare repealed. [Politico]

-California Democrats want to see limits on white nationalist demonstrations. [SacBee]

-Sarah Ruiz-Grossman reports on polling about white supremacy. [HuffPost, data via Sabato’s Crystal Ball]

-Michael Tesler finds evidence that Jemele Hill’s comments represent the mainstream opinion. [HuffPost]

-A plurality of Americans think Trump’s remarks have made racist comments more acceptable in the U.S. [PBS]

-Jacob Bogage and Emily Guskin look at Americans’ mixed attitudes toward the dangers of playing football. [WashPost]

-Danielle Kurtzleben rounds up public opinion polling on DACA. [NPR]

-Emily Badger writes on misconceptions about the wealth gap between black and white Americans. [NYT]

-David Byler reviews polls suggesting that Trump’s approval could be a midterm ceiling for the GOP. [RCP]

-Ron Brownstein examines the possible cracks in Trump’s foundation of support. [CNN]

-Pew Research dives into the differences between consistent voters, “drop-off” voters and nonvoters. [Pew]

-G. Elliott Morris asks how much Democrats can rely on young voters. [NYT]

-John B. Judis issues a mea culpa for arguing demography meant destiny for Democrats. [TNR]

-Adam Marcus reports on a health specialist demanding payment for the use of his questionnaire. [Science]

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The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Sept. 13-14 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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