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Election Tracking Takeaways: Is Bernie Gaining on Hillary?

Election Tracking Takeaways: Is Bernie Gaining on Hillary?

SurveyMonkey Bernie SandersConventional wisdom says that Bernie Sanders has a tough, nigh impossible, road ahead of him if he’s expecting to become the Democratic nominee.

But in an election year where the presumptive Republican nominee is a reality TV star/real estate magnate (who says stuff like this), it doesn’t hurt to look at things from another angle.

Sanders won landslides in several states last week and, according to SurveyMonkey’s Election Trackings results this week, he’s gaining on Hillary Clinton fast.

Sanders is polling at his highest point yet, and is now trailing Clinton by just 6 percentage points. That’s the narrowest margin between the two candidates yet—and the first time it has hit single digits.

While Sanders’ support has ticked up 2 percentage points since last week, the story may be more about Clinton’s losses. Her support has fallen by 4 percentage points overall (from 53% to 49%), but more striking are the losses in individual groups of voters.

  • Black voters’ support for Clinton fell from 68% to 64% in the past week, while Sanders’ support edged up from 25% to 27%
  • While Sanders gained support from white voters, growing from 45% to 48%, Clinton’s support ticked down from 48% to 46%
  • Support from men fell from 51% to 45% for Clinton, while support for Sanders ticked up from 45% to 47%
  • Voters aged 18-24 were already a weak point for Clinton, and their support worsened this week, dropping from 24% to 19%. Meanwhile, Sanders’ support increased from 73% to 77%.

Public opinion polls may be shifting in Sanders’ direction, but the electoral math isn’t—demographics still favor Clinton in many important states.

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Frontrunner frustrations

While Republican frontrunner Donald Trump might not be so sure he could get behind another candidate, voters aren’t so sure they can get behind him (or Clinton for that matter).

Just 45% of voters would be satisfied if the two current frontrunners were candidates in the general election. Another 23% didn’t even have an opinion on the matter, while a full 32% would consider voting for a third-party candidate instead.

But it’s not so simple to derail the Trump train when 79% of Republicans expect him to be the Republican nominee and 48% of Republican or Republican-leaning independents support him. Especially, when you compare that to the 27% who support Ted Cruz and the 18% who support John Kasich.

This SurveyMonkey Election Tracking survey was conducted online from March 21-27 among a national sample of more than 6,000 people aged 18 and over in the U.S. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Results have an error estimate of 1.5 percentage points.

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