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March 2016 Poll: Clinton’s Biggest Threat: Sanders or Email Scandal?

February 22, 2016


In the video clip above from our last Poll Lunch, Democratic political consultant Brad Crone and Civitas President Francis De Luca analyzed the results of our January poll of what Democratic primary voters think of ex-secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Crone suggests that, as the primary process rolls on, Clinton’s biggest problem may not be Sanders, but the legal issues looming from running her official correspondence as U.S. secretary of state through a private, unauthorized server.

Eventually, Crone went on to say, the Democratic establishment won’t allow Sanders to be the nominee. If legal problems engulf Clinton’s campaign, the most likely replacement would be Vice President Joe Biden.

Even so, the Civitas Poll showed Sanders has strong support, especially among younger voters, Civitas President Francis De Luca said. Note that in the chart below, from our January poll, Sanders leads among voters 26-40 (and in Western North Carolina.)


Click here to read the press release about this part of the poll. It showed Clinton with a comfortable lead in North Carolina. In the survey, 53 percent picked Clinton, while 28 percent said they favored Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Fifteen percent said they did not know who they would vote for.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz were in a virtual tie.

Of course, in this volatile political year, a lot can happen. Our final poll before the Primary Election will be released at a series of events March 10. Keep an eye on for more information.

Check out the poll results elsewhere in Polling Spotlight to learn more about survey poll and other questions posed to Democratic and Republican voters.

For questions, or to arrange an interview, please contact Brooke Medina, communications director, at

Civitas has conducted live-caller voting in North Carolina since May 2005, and we are the only public policy organization offering statewide independent, nonpartisan data on a regular basis. Our polls have provided vital insights on what North Carolina voters think of the leaders and issues facing the state and nation.

Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization committed to advancing conservative ideas and shrinking the size of government. Civitas fights to eliminate government barriers to freedom so that North Carolinians can live a better life.

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