While the Democratic race in South Carolina has narrowed, Hillary Clinton continues to trounce Bernie Sanders.
Likely Democratic primary voters favor Clinton over Sanders by 28 points (56-28 percent), according to a Fox News poll released Thursday. Another 17 percent remain undecided or plan to back someone else.
In December, Clinton held a 44-point lead (65-21 percent).
The South Carolina electorate is more diverse than those of Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that have held contests so far -- and that helps the former secretary of state. Even so, sentiment has shifted among some of Clinton’s best groups.
Clinton led among black voters by 82-11 in December (71 points). The new poll finds she leads Sanders by 63-21 percent among blacks (42 points). That’s still a big lead, no doubt. But there’s been a 29-point narrowing.
In addition, two months ago Clinton topped Sanders by 55 points among women (72-17 percent). Now she’s up by 33 points (58-25 percent).
Younger voters are a key Sanders constituency. In New Hampshire, the Fox News exit poll showed he outperformed Clinton by 49 points among voters under 45, and by a whopping 67 points among the under 30 crowd. The new poll, however, shows that in South Carolina, he trails Clinton among those under age 45 by 11 points (49-38 percent). Sanders trails by just three points among those under 35.
Voters ages 45+ prefer Clinton by 42 points (62 vs. 20 percent).
Men (by 53-32 percent) and whites (by 48-36 percent) also back Clinton.
Clinton’s supporters are more committed: 82 percent of her backers are “certain” to vote for her compared to 69 percent of Sanders’. Twenty-nine percent of his supporters may change their mind, while 17 percent of Clinton backers say the same.
The South Carolina Democratic Primary is Saturday, February 27.
The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The telephone poll (landline and cellphone) was conducted February 15-17, 2016 with live interviewers among a random sample of 1,401 South Carolina voters selected from a statewide voter file. Results for the 642 likely Democratic primary voters have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.