Skip to Main Content

Press Release for Monday, February 29, 2016

Poll Reveals Hillary Clinton Holds Lead in Democratic Presidential Primary Race

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

 A new University of North Florida statewide poll of likely Democratic primary voters reveals that if the Florida Democratic Presidential Primary were held today, the majority of respondents (54.4 percent) would vote for Hillary Clinton, whose support percentages are very similar to her UNF October 2015 poll results (54.6 percent). Bernie Sanders trails with 24.2 percent, an increase from the 15.9 percent who chose Sanders in the October 2015 poll.
When asked what is the most important problem facing the U.S. today, 30.5 percent of likely Democratic primary voters think it’s the economy, jobs or unemployment. For 14.5 percent of respondents, health care is the most important problem, while 12.6 percent selected terrorism, and another 11.5 percent chose education.

For likely Democratic primary voters, 79.4 percent strongly or somewhat agree with the statement, “The Democratic party cares about people such as yourself” and 17.9 percent strongly or somewhat disagree. Interestingly, when asked if the “Democratic party cares about people such as yourself,” the overwhelming majority—75.8 percent—strongly agreed and 53.4 percent of those who somewhat agreed, also said they would vote for Clinton, if the Florida Democratic Presidential race were held today, which reflects Clinton’s status as the establishment candidate.

Among likely Democratic primary voters, 72.2 percent have a favorable opinion about Clinton and 64.6 percent hold a favorable opinion about Sanders. Of the leading Republican Presidential candidates, Marco Rubio is viewed more favorably (22.7 percent) than Donald Trump (17.7 percent) or Ted Cruz (13.9 percent).

For African-American likely Democratic primary voters, Clinton has a sizeable lead over Sanders with 66.5 percent to 11.9 percent. Among women, Clinton also holds a large lead over Sanders, 58.2 percent to 20.3 percent.

When asked about possible policy options for unauthorized immigrants now living in the United States, the results were consistent across races. Large numbers of likely Democratic primary voters (47.3 percent white, 50 percent African-American and 50.7 percent Hispanic) support allowing unauthorized immigrants to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship after paying back taxes and fines. An additional 22.4 percent of whites, 23.8 percent of African-Americans and 29.6 percent of Hispanics support allowing unauthorized immigrants to stay in the states and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship without penalties.

The Public Opinion Research Laboratory (PORL), through the use of a 27-station telephone-polling laboratory at UNF, conducted the telephone surveys using live interviewers calling both landlines and cell phones. The PORL is a full-service survey research facility that provides tailored research to fulfill each client’s individual needs. Since it opened in March 2001, the PORL has conducted over 120 research projects, which include focus groups, data collection, telephone, online and economic impact surveys. The PORL is a charter member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research Transparency Initiative.

Approximately 200 UNF students participated in the data collection. A polling sample of randomly selected adults (18 years of age or older) likely Democratic primary voters was drawn from the Florida Division of Elections’ voter file. Likely voters are classified as voters who cast a ballot in at least 51 percent of recent elections in which they were eligible to vote (since 2008 general and primary elections). Respondents in the sample, when called, were asked for by their first and last name to ensure the interview was taken by the correct individual in the household.

For non-completes with a working residential or cell phone line, at least five callbacks were attempted. Of completed surveys, there were 58.5 percent landlines and 40.8 percent cellphones. Calls were made from 5 to 9 p.m. every night from Monday, Feb. 22, through Saturday, Feb. 27, and include 685 adult registered Democrat likely voters in the state of Florida, with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.74 percent. Stratified sampling, using the 10 designated market areas in Florida as subgroups, was used for geographical representation. Quotas were placed on each subgroup to ensure a proportionate amount of completed surveys from across the state. The total sample was weighted by age, gender, and race to reflect the adult Democrat Primary likely voter population in Florida.

For more information on this project, visit www.unf.edu/coas/porl/. For questions about methodology, contact Dr. Michael Binder, PORL faculty director and UNF assistant professor of political science, at (904) 620-1205 or m.binder@unf.edu.

Spring Statewide 2016 Toplines
Ask All:
All choices read to respondent except for “Don’t Know” and “No Answer” and otherwise noted by “Volunteer (Vol)”.
Q3. If the Democratic Primary for President were being held today, for whom would you vote? [Randomize 1-2] [All choices read to respondent]
Likely Democratic Presidential Primary Voters
(February 2016) n=685 Likely Democratic Presidential Primary Voters
(October 2015) n=632
Hillary Clinton 54.4% 54.6%
Bernie Sanders 24.2% 15.9%
Someone Else (Vol) 5.1% 16%
Don’t Know (Vol) 7.8% 7.7%
No Answer (Vol) 8.6% 5.5%


Q1. What do you think is the most important problem facing the US today? [All choices randomized and read to respondent]
Likely Democratic Presidential Primary Voters
(February 2016) n=685 Likely Democratic Presidential Primary Voters
(October 2015) n=632
Economy/ Jobs or Unemployment 30.5% 32%
Education 11.5% 13.6%
Healthcare 14.5% 12.7%
Immigration 3.4% 6.1%
Environment 7.5% 7.1%
Social Security 6.1% 4.9%
Terrorism 12.6% 11.4%
Something Else (Vol) 8.3% 5.6%
Don’t Know (Vol) <1% 1.1%
No Answer (Vol) <1% 1.5%
Political Leadership (Vol) 1.7% 2%
Morality/Values (Vol) 1.2% <1%
National Security (Vol) 1.2% <1%

Q4. “Public officials don't care much what people such as yourself think.” Do you:
n=685 Likely Democratic Presidential Primary Voters
Strongly Agree 33.3%
Somewhat Agree 35.5%
Somewhat Disagree 19.1%
Strongly Agree 9.1%
Don’t Know (Vol) 1.9%
No Answer (Vol) 1.1%


Q5. “People such as yourself don’t have any say about what the government does.” Do you:
n=685 Likely Democratic Presidential Primary Voters
Strongly Agree 27.7%
Somewhat Agree 29%
Somewhat Disagree 20.5%
Strongly Disagree 21.9%
Don’t Know (Vol) <1%
No Answer (Vol) <1%

Q6. “The Democratic Party cares about people such as yourself” Do you:
n=685 Likely Democratic Presidential Primary Voters
Strongly Agree 38%
Somewhat Agree 41.4%
Somewhat Disagree 7.6%
Strongly Disagree 10.3%
Don’t Know (Vol) 1.1%
No Answer (Vol) 1.7%

“The Democratic Party cares about people such as yourself” and Vote Choice
n=685 Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Somewhat Disagree Strongly Disagree
Hillary Clinton 75.8% 53.4% 21.9% 7.6%
Bernie Sanders 16.2% 28.5% 46.8% 23.6%
Someone Else/Don’t Know (Vol) 4.2% 11% 14.8% 49.1

Of Likely Democratic Likely Voters:
“Please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these people -- or if you have never heard of them” and Vote Choice
n=685
Favorable Unfavorable Never heard of him/her
Hillary Clinton 72.2% 21.6% 0%
Bernie Sanders 64.6% 23.4% 2.6%
Ted Cruz 13.9% 70.9% 6.3%
Marco Rubio 22.7% 65.3% 3.4%
Donald Trump 17.7% 75.9% 0%

Vote Choice and Race
n=685
White/Caucasian African American Hispanic/Latino
Hillary Clinton 47.9% 66.5% 65.2%
Bernie Sanders 29.5% 11.9% 22.2%
Someone Else 7% 1% 6.1%
Don’t Know (Vol) 7.7% 8.8% 5.7%
No Answer (Vol) 7.8% 11.9% <1%

Vote Choice and Age
n=685
Under 44 45-54 55-64 65 and over
Hillary Clinton 44.4% 57.2% 51.3% 57.5%
Bernie Sanders 39.1% 25.3% 28.1% 18.4%
Someone else 2.6% 3.1% 6.3% 5.7%
Don’t Know (Vol) 9.5% 8.2% 2.6% 9.7%
No Answer (Vol) 4.5% 6.2% 11.7% 8.8%

Vote Choice and Gender
n=685
Women Men
Hillary Clinton 58.2% 48.7%
Bernie Sanders 20.3% 30%
Someone else 5.2% 5%
Don’t Know (Vol) 7.4% 8.4%
No Answer (Vol) 9% 7.9%

Q18. Which comes closest to your view about what government policy should be toward unauthorized immigrants now living in the United States? You can just tell me the number of your choice.
n=678
White/Caucasian
Likely Democratic Primary Voters
African American Likely Democratic Primary Voters
Hispanic/Latino
Likely Democratic Primary Voters
Make them all felons and send them back to their home country. 7.6% 3.2% 5%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for a limited amount of time. 9.5% 7.6% 5.2%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for an unlimited amount of time, but not allow them to obtain citizenship. 5.9% 11.2% 6.5%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship after paying back taxes and fines. 47.3% 50% 50.7%
Allow them to stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship without penalties. 22.4% 23.8% 29.6%
Don’t Know (Vol) 4.8% 0% 1.6%
No Answer (Vol) 2.5% 4.3% 1.3%
All demographic data supplied by Florida Voter File List (Did not ask respondents following questions).
Race
n=685

Caucasian 63.2%
African American 27.1%
Hispanic/Latino 6.6%
Something Else 3.1%

Age
n=685

Under 44 12.4%
45-54 13.7%
55-64 23.8%
65 and over 50.1%

Gender
n=685

Male 40.2%
Female 59.8%

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.



-UNF-