The Iowa caucus, is only eight days away, meaning that each day is critical. National polls show a commanding lead for Hillary Clinton, but Bernie Sanders’s hold on New Hampshire polls is increasing, and he’s taken the lead in a recent Iowa poll. The betting markets (according to PredictWise) and Iowa FiveThirtyEight forecasts continue to favor Hillary despite the tight polling margin in the state.
Here’s a look at the state of the race:
The two most recent polls in Iowa contradict one another. A new poll by KBUR shows Clinton with a 9-point lead over Sanders, 48 percent to 39 percent, with Martin O’Malley taking 7 percent. In other unwelcome news for Sanders, the poll shows that only 5.6 percent of voters polled are undecided, meaning there may not be a whole lot of room to make up ground.
However, CNN found Sanders had a lead of 8 points, 51 percent to 43 percent, with O’Malley carrying 4 percent. Sanders was also the most trusted candidate on the economy, a topic on which Clinton had led in CNN polling since August. CNN, however, also differs from the KBUR poll in showing a much higher portion of completely or partly undecided voters than, at 36 percent. Another notable caveat to the CNN poll: while, like most polls, it controls for “likely caucus-goers,” when it asked those who actually did caucus in 2008, Clinton was the favorite by a 55-38 margin.
It should be noted that, of the two polls, the KBUR poll favoring Hillary has a sample more than double the size of the Sanders-favoring CNN/ORC poll. Also, as FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver notes, their different projections of likely turnout highly influenced their projections:
Both agenices are rated A- in FiveThirtyEights
In polling averages provided by RealClearPolitics, Clinton maintains a 6.4-point lead, 47.9 to 41.5, with O’Malley at 5.5 percent.
Iowa Polling Averages (by RealClearPolitics)
- Hillary Clinton: 47.9%
- Bernie Sanders: 41.5%
- Martin O’Malley: 5.5%
FiveThirtyEight, which utilizes factors beyond polls in its “polls-plus” predictions, gives Hillary Clinton an 85 percent chance to take the state, with Sanders at 15 percent and O’Malley at less than 1 percent. (Due to rounding, the sum of the averages exceeds 100.) Its polls-only forecast, which doesn’t use eactra factors but weights the polls according to methodology and past accuracy, gives Clinton a 72 percent chance to win the primary, with Sanders at 28, well above her RealClearPolitics lead.
FiveThirtyEight Polls-Plus Forecast for Iowa
Click the “next page” button below for a breakdown of New Hampshire and national polls, as well as a look at the Democratic primary schedule.