Hillary Clinton is still leading the Democratic field for 2016, but her lead has shrunk in recent months, according to a Monmouth University poll out Wednesday, as independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to make steady gains, despite trailing by a wide margin.
Among Democrats and those leaning toward the Democratic Party, Clinton picked up the support of 51 percent, down from 57 percent in June and 60 percent in April.
Sanders came in second with 17 percent, followed by former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb with 1 percent each. Lincoln Chafee, the former governor and senator from Rhode Island, registered no support.
If Vice President Joe Biden were to run, however, the results suggest that he would take some votes from Clinton. He has not announced his intentions, but poll respondents backed him with 13 percent, just behind Sanders.
Among voters who said they were likely to vote for Biden in the event of his candidacy, 68 percent said they currently support Clinton, while 18 percent said they are backing another candidate, with 14 percent undecided.
Clinton continues to have the best favorability ratings among her Democratic rivals in the Monmouth poll (74 percent favorable to 17 percent unfavorable), though Biden is close behind (67 percent to 17 percent).
The poll was conducted via landlines and cellphones from a larger July 9-12 survey, which sought the opinions of 1,001 adults nationwide. This particular sample included 357 registered voters who identified themselves as Democrats or leaning toward the Democratic Party, carrying a margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage point