The latest Bloomberg Politics Poll, released Wednesday, shows a tightening race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The poll shows that the prospect for a three-way race between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Vice-president Biden is becoming more likely. Biden has not announced and if he does not get in, some polls say that would benefit Clinton. Forty seven percent of Democrats, however, want Biden to get in the race.
The poll, which was conducted September 18-21, shows that Clinton is the first choice of Democrats with 33 percent; Joe Biden was second at 25 percent; and Bernie Sanders was the choice of 24 percent of Democrats. Fifteen percent of Democrats were either uncommitted or unsure. The other candidates received less than two percent.
Among Democrats, Joe Biden has the highest favorability rating. Eighty percent of Democrats have a favorable opinion of the Vice-president and only 14 percent view him unfavorably. Clinton had a net favorability rating of 70 percent with an unfavorable rating of 25 percent. Bernie Sanders received a favorability rating of 56 percent, but he had the lowest unfavorable rating of any Democratic or Republican candidate at 9 percent. Sanders favorable rating was lower because 35 percent of Democrats did not know enough to have an opinion. Only five and six percent of Democrats had no opinion about Clinton and Biden respectively.
The poll was conducted before the latest revelations that the FBI has recovered new personal and business emails on Hillary’s Clinton’s private server. This is causing speculation that the Democratic front-runner may have failed to turn over all the emails. There is no evidence of that at this moment, but Republicans and the media are ginning up speculation.
When the poll asked all voters about their feelings about Secretary Clinton, only 38 percent gave her a favorable rating compared to 54 percent who have an unfavorable opinion. Clinton’s ratings among Democrats are nearly twice as good as the public as a whole. Her favorable/unfavorable numbers were about the same as the Democratic Party among all voters. The Republican Party is less favorable than the Democratic Party in the polls.
President Obama’s favorability numbers are higher than in recent months with 50 percent having a favorable opinion versus 47 percent unfavorable. Vice-president Biden is slightly less popular with a 49 percent favorable. However, Biden has lower unfavorable ratings that Obama or Clinton at 41 percent.
Pope Francis would be the hands down winner if he were in the presidential race. The Pope, however, is not eligible to run. Despite angering conservative Catholics and Republican politicians with his stands on climate change and the inequality of wealth, Pope Francis has a favorable rating of 64 percent versus an unfavorable rating of only 15 percent.
On one of the key issues in the current presidential campaign—immigration—70 percent agree with the Pope that nations should be more welcoming. On gay marriage, climate change, and economic justice, voters are more evenly split. Voters overwhelmingly agree with the Pope’s decision to allow priests to forgive abortion, annul marriages, and give women a bigger role in the Church.
The Bloomberg poll follows on other polls out this week that give Clinton a bigger lead. It will be interesting to see if this is an outli