WASHINGTON—Democrats appear to be rallying around Hillary Rodham Clinton after her performance in the party’s first presidential debate, with strong majorities viewing her favourably and more saying she can win the White House than any of her rivals, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows.
The survey released Tuesday finds that Clinton has regained traction in the 2016 primary contest following a summer slump, with nearly 8 in 10 Democrats saying they have a positive opinion of her. That’s a slight uptick for Clinton, eight points better than the last time the question was asked in an AP-GfK poll in July.
To the extent that there is a desire for an alternative to Clinton in the Democratic field, the poll finds that Vice-President Joe Biden appears more able to provide it than the insurgent campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Nearly 7 in 10 Democrats said they had a favourable view of Biden, who has spent months weighing whether to jump into the race. Only about half of Democrats say that about Sanders.
Sanders isn’t necessarily unpopular among Democrats, but the longtime political independent and self-proclaimed democratic socialist is still not well known. A 33 per cent said they don’t know enough about him to have a favourable or an unfavourable opinion.
It’s not just Democrats who view Clinton as a possible winner. Three quarters of Americans think Clinton could win in a general election, including two-thirds of Republicans.
By comparison, 56 per cent of Americans think Biden could win and just 44 per cent think Sanders could claim the White House.
Meanwhile, less than half of Americans said they think any of the Republican candidates for president could win in a general election.