Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is still the favorite to win her party’s nomination, but Democratic voters are also paying attention to other competitors, according to a new poll.
The poll, conducted by CNN/ORC, shows Clinton in the lead with 37 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters nationwide. Gaining traction is self-defined Democratic-Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who received 27 percent support. Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to make a decision on a presidential run, is in third place with 20 percent.
Lesser known candidates, such as former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, received three and two percent support, respectively. Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee, a former Republican-turned-Democrat, placed last with 1 percent of the vote.
The most noteworthy poll numbers come from Clinton, who’s been deflecting attacks from her opponents for the majority of the summer over her use of a private email server while Secretary of State. Her significant drop in approval just over the last month correlates with the increasing attention the scandal is bringing the Clinton campaign; only 43 percent of Democratic voters now say they are excited about Clinton’s campaign, down from 60 percent when she announced her second presidential bid in April.
However, voters also remain under-whelmed by the Sanders candidacy and a potential Biden candidacy. Thirty-seven percent said they would be excited if the Vice President made a run for the White House, while 31 percent felt the same way about Sanders.
More surprisingly are the poll numbers when Clinton is paired in head-to-head matchups against three of her most prominent Republican opponents. Battling against Dr. Ben Carson, Clinton loses 51 to 46 percent; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush defeats Clinton 49 to 47 percent; and businessman Donald Trump is tied with Clinton, with both receiving 48 percent of the vote.
Sanders recently commented on his success in the polls, specifically a poll that shows him statistically tied with Clinton in Iowa, 41 to 40 percent.
“You want me to tell you the truth?” Sanders said to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about his strong support.
“Yes, I’m stunned,” he said. “Look, we have a message that I believed from day one was going to resonate with the American people … Did I think (the issues) would resonate as quickly as they have? The answer is no.”