By Daniel Morcate @dmorca
With just five days remaining before the primary elections in Florida, Hillary Rodham Clinton leads by a wide margin of 38 points over her rival Bernie Sanders, based on support from the state’s registered Democratic Party voters, according to a new and exclusive survey commissioned by Univision Noticias and The Washington Post.
The former secretary of state has 64% of the intended votes among Florida Democrats who are registered to vote, compared to 26% for the senator from Vermont. Only 10% remain undecided, which suggests that Sanders has very little margin for bridging the gap.
Clinton’s dominance extends across the state’s ethnic groups, although it is much greater among minority voters, which may be reflective of these groups’ greater recognition of the person who once was the First Lady for eight years and a U.S. Senator for another eight years.
Among African American Democratic Party Voters, 79% support Clinton, and barely 13% are in favor of Sanders. Meanwhile, among Hispanics, Clinton has the support of 69% and Sanders has only 21%. Florida’s non-Hispanic Whites also favor Clinton, with 56%, compared to 35% for Sanders.
Clinton has been facing an image problem during the current presidential race, one that is reflected in low trustworthiness ratings. In a survey conducted by the Democrat public opinion polling firm Bendixen & Amandi and the Republican research and polling firm, The Tarrance Group, in this category, Sanders is ahead of the former Secretary of State.
Among Democrats interviewed, 46% state that the senator from Vermont is trustworthy, and only 39% have a likewise opinion of Clinton. Nevertheless, Hispanic voters in Florida believe Clinton is more electable and has more chances of becoming president than Sanders.
Among those interviewed, 65% state that the former Secretary of State has better personality and temperament for being president compared to 26% stating the same opinion about her rival.
A 53% majority believe likewise that Clinton is better suited for creating change in Washington, while 33% believe that Sanders is more suited. And Florida Democrats are showing much more confidence in Clinton for managing the economy (62% to 29%), immigration challenges (64% to 20%), terrorism (68% to 19%) and healthcare (64% to 26%).
Democratic Party voters in Florida are divided in their opinions concerning the direction in which the country is going under the leadership of Barack Obama, a president belonging to the same party as they. Among them, 46% are of the opinion that the country is moving in the right direction, while precisely the same percentage believes it is headed in the wrong direction. But the skepticism is greater among non-Hispanic White voters, 54% of whom believe things are not doing so well in the United States.
In the primaries of next March 15 th, Florida Democrats will also choose a candidate who, during the November general election, will aspire to fill the seat left vacant by Senator, and aspiring Republican presidential candidate, Marco Rubio. That election could potentially alter the balance of power in the Senate.
The exclusive survey conducted under the auspices of Noticias Univision and The Washington Post reveals that this continues to be a close battle. U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy enjoys the support of 36% and Alan Grayson, also a U.S. Congressman, has 29%. A significant 30% of Democratic Party voters remain undecided.
As was to be expected, an overwhelming 78% of Democrat voters in Florida are of the opinion that the Senate should vote for the candidate chosen by President Obama to replace recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Barely 18% recommend that this vote should be postponed until after the next President of the United States has been elected.
Furthermore, by almost nine to one, Florida Democrats approve of the Obama’s planned trip to Cuba this month for the purpose of trying to consolidate his policy of reestablishing relations with the island’s government, following more than 50 years of mutual hostilities.
On the other hand, the survey reveals a clear division concerning the “wet-feet, dry-feet” policy that allows Cubans who set foot on U.S. territory to remain in the country legally. Among Democrat voters, 46% support a continuation of that policy, while 42% believe it should be eliminated.
A similar division manifests itself when interviewees are asked whether or not they approve of the financial bailout of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Commonwealth that is burdened with a debt of more than 70 billion dollars, which its government claims it cannot pay. Among Florida Democrats, 45% favor the bailout, but 44% are opposed. Among Hispanic Democrats in Florida, support for the bailout increases to 58%
The exclusive survey commissioned by Noticias Univision and The Washington Post consulted 450 Democrat voters in the state between March 2nd and March 5th of 2016 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.6%. Tomorrow we will analyze the results of the survey among the state’s Republican voters.
Versión en español: Clinton tiene amplia ventaja entre votantes demócratas de Florida