Hillary Clinton maintains a big popularity advantage over Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) among Democrats, but the former secretary of state struggles more with the rest of the electorate, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.
Fully 83 percent of Democrats have a favorable impression of Clinton, compared with 54 percent for Sanders. And despite Sanders's ability to energize the Democratic base -- as shown by huge crowds turning out to see him -- Clinton's edge is almost as large on intensity; 47 percent see Clinton in a "strongly favorable" light, compared with 22 percent for Sanders. So while more than half of Democrats who like Clinton feel strongly, less than half of those who like Sanders feel that way.
Sanders continues to be much less familiar to Democrats than Clinton, but that doesn't totally account for the differing favorable ratings. In fact, despite being lesser-known, he also receives more negative reviews. One-quarter of Democrats have a negative view of the Vermont senator (25 percent), compared with 14 percent who are unfavorable toward Clinton.
So while Clinton's net favorability (favorable rating minus unfavorable rating) is plus-69, Sanders's is plus-29.
Clinton boasts no advantage over Sanders among the public overall, however. Clinton's ratings with all Americans are underwater, at 46 percent favorable and 51 percent unfavorable, while Sanders's reviews are narrowly positive (40-38 favorable-unfavorable).
Clinton is worse off among political independents. Thirty-nine percent rate her favorably and 57 percent unfavorably, while Sanders again receives a slightly positive favorable-unfavorable split -- 42-38.
Democratic base groups
Liberal Democrats have boosted their assessments of Clinton after a strong debate performance and defense of her record before Congress's Benghazi committee. Her positive ratings with this group have risen 7 percentage points since early October (to 90 percent), and her strongly favorable ratings have risen 15 points with this group (to 51 percent). Sanders's strongly favorable ratings among liberal Democrats are a slightly lower 41 percent.
It's among moderates and conservative Democrats that Clinton has her biggest advantage over Sanders. Sanders receives narrowly positive marks among these Democrats (40 percent favorable, 36 unfavorable), while Clinton's positive ratings outpace negative ones by roughly 4-to-1 (78 percent favorable, 19 percent unfavorable).
Sanders also continues to see a large racial gap among Democrats in this basic measure of likability. White Democrats report largely positive impressions of Sanders -- 66 percent favorable vs. 20 percent unfavorable -- but his positive margin is more narrow among non-white Democrats, at 41-31 favorable-unfavorable. White and non-white Democrats do not differ as much in their views of Clinton, with 80 percent of whites and 86 percent of non-whites rating her positively.
The Post-ABC poll was conducted Nov. 4-8 among a random national sample of 1,023 adults, including users of both conventional and cellular phones. Overall results from the survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The error margin is 6.5 percentage points among the sample of 318 self-identified Republicans.