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Opinion poll shows gains for Hillary over Sanders

Clinton’s lead has declined slightly since the November version of the poll, where she had 58 percent to Sanders’s 30 percent.

The latest rift between Clinton and Trump began during Saturday evening’s Democratic presidential debate.

Hilary Clinton holds sway on important issues debated, according to the surveys.

According to CNN/ORC poll, Ms. Clinton has even larger leads on foreign policy matters and the Islamic State (IS), leading Mr. Sanders by 72 per cent to 15 per cent on foreign policy, 63 per cent to 18 per cent on IS. “She lost, I mean she lost”, he said, turning the noun “schlong” – a penis – into a verb. Although Sanders’ heavy focus on the economy puts the two closest on that issue, Clinton leads again: Only 39 percent see him as the most qualified to handle economic issues versus 47 percent for Hilary Clinton.

Whipping up a raucous crowd of supporters in MI on Monday night, Mr Trump’s scorn for his Democratic rival took a sexually graphic and personal turn.

And while Mr Trump continues to lead the Republican race, more than half of all voters polled would be “embarrassed” to have him as president and as many as 28 per cent of Republicans declare they could not support him.

Despite those gaps, Democratic men are actually more likely than Democratic women to say the party has a better chance to win in 2016 with Clinton than without her (64% of men say the best chance is with Clinton, 55% of women say the same).

Trump, who has ramped up his criticism of Clinton in recent weeks, also mocked the Democratic front-runner on Monday for returning late to Saturday’s debate following a commercial break because she’d been using the bathroom. On values, Sanders tops the field with 43% of voters saying the Democratic socialist shares their values, narrowly topping Clinton (42%) and Rubio (42%).

However, the poll suggests Ms. Clinton faces a stiff challenge from top three GOP candidates.

Martin O’Malley significantly trails behind, with 3 percent.

Mrs. Clinton has been stepping up her attacks on Donald Trump as she approaches a general election in which she appears to be confident she will be the party’s standard-bearer. Among independent voters, Clinton trails Rubio and Cruz by 12 points each, while running even with Trump.

The poll was conducted December 17-21 and surveyed 1,018 adults via telephone. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

In the breakdown, 414 registered voters who are Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents were surveyed, and the margin of error was 5 percentage points.

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