A New York Times/CBS News poll released on Thursday shows the Democratic race has been relatively stable over the last month, with Hillary Clinton still well ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The survey released on Thursday found Clinton up 52 to 33 percent over Sanders, with former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley back at 5 percent. The results were fairly similar to an early October poll, which had Clinton leading Sanders by a slightly larger 56 to 32 advantage.
Although Sanders has made incremental gains, the national race appears to have fallen into a temporary state of static equilibrium, where Clinton holds a large lead, Sanders draws a significant amount of support as second choice, and Martin O’Malley is out of contention.
According to the poll, Bernie Sanders’ supporters were more engaged in the race than Hillary Clinton supporters. 54 percent of Sanders’ voters said they were paying a lot of attention to the campaign, compared to just 38 percent of Clinton voters.
However, a greater number of Clinton backers have already solidified their support for Hillary than the percentage of Sanders supporters who have locked in their support for Bernie. 58 percent of Sanders supporters had not made a final decision, while a majority (54 percent) of Clinton supporters said their minds were completely made up, indicating that they would definitely be voting for Clinton.
The three Democratic candidates are scheduled to participate in a debate on Saturday, November 14th, at Drake University in Iowa. Hillary Clinton will try to continue her momentum from the Benghazi hearings and the previous candidate forums, where her confident public performances were widely credited with bolstering her standing as the undisputed Democratic front-runner.
Bernie Sanders will try to continue to inspire voters with his progressive populist message, in the hopes that his impassioned calls for fighting income inequality enable him to chip away at Clinton’s lead. Martin O’Malley will struggle to inject himself into the conversation and try to establish himself as a relevant candidate in the Democratic field.
As the Democrats prepare for the upcoming debate, the New York Times/CBS News poll makes one thing clear. Hillary Clinton still has a commanding lead in the Democratic field, and barring any major missteps between now and the first caucuses and primaries, she will be tough to beat.