11 February 2016

Obama beats Hillary — in a walk — if he could run again


In his Tuesday column for the New York Times the conservative-leaning David Brooks wrote about “a strange sensation” that had come over him: “I miss Barack Obama,” he wrote. Brooks paid tribute to what he saw as the president’s high personal standards: his respect for others; soundness in decision-making; grace under fire; and his resilient sense of optimism. It trended across Facebook and Twitter all day and you can read it here.

We asked the YouGov First Verdict panel who they’d vote for if Barack Obama wasn’t limited by the constitution to serve only two terms. It turns out that he’d walk the Democratic Party’s primary race. A majority — 56% — of Democrats would vote for him in a three-way contest with Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders. Mrs. Clinton would win 20% and Mr. Sanders 17%.

And for fun we asked Republicans how they’d vote if their 2012 candidate – Mitt Romney – jumped into the race. The result wasn’t so dramatic. Governor Romney would get 16% of the vote – trailing Mr. Trump’s 26% and Senator Cruz’s 21%. The only other candidate in double figures in our poll was Senator Rubio – also 16%. Governor Bush trailed badly at 6%.

Our Democratic race question was asked before New Hampshire voted. The Republican question was asked the day afterwards. And on the subject of New Hampshire…

Yesterday we published some reactions from YouGov’s First Verdict panel to Donald Trump’s victory in New Hampshire’s Republican primary. Here, today, are the panel’s less emphatic responses to Senator Bernie Sanders’ triumph over Hillary Clinton.

Most positive from the point of view of Senator Sanders was that 39% liked the idea of a candidate standing up to big donors. Twenty nine percent agreed that Sanders was “likeable, principled and just what Washington needs”.

Thirty percent of panelists thought that America would not vote for the “democratic socialism” of Senator Sanders. Thirty one percent were confident that Clinton would eventually win the Democratic nomination.

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For more about Portrait of America and the methodology behind First Verdict, click here.

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Tim Montgomerie is editor of Portrait of America.