Hillary Clinton keeps lead over Bernie Sanders in Puerto Rico primary

by Jun 3, 2016Elections, Headlines, Polls0 comments

According to the May edition of our 2016 Elections Puerto Rico poll, Hillary Clinton has kept her lead over Bernie Sanders, with the primary scheduled for this Sunday. With 63.90% of the vote, Clinton has maintained both consistent level of support since our last poll, and at similar levels to her 2008 showing against Barack Obama. Following our methodology, these results were weighted based on previous voting history and demographics.


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Clinton also scored highly on favorability, not only beating Sanders’ numbers, but surprisingly registering lower unfavorability numbers than the Vermont senator. Clinton was viewed unfavorably by 21.30% of respondents, while Sanders received unfavorable ratings from 30.10%. For a newly known political figure this is unexpected. The best possible explanation would be the fact that Sanders has received support from largely left-leaning pro-independence and pro-sovereignty figures in Puerto Rico, which could have alienated members of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party. Clinton on the other hand, has emerged unscathed, with solid favorable ratings of 76.30%.



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Because of the Bernie or bust movement, we analyzed which candidates Sanders supporters would vote for (if they could) should Clinton emerge as the Democratic nominee. 57.4% would maintain the party line, but a significant 33.3% would choose none of the above. This is likely due in part to the fact that Puerto Rico does not vote for president, but it nonetheless also reflects some of the dissatisfaction of Sanders’ voters with Clinton.



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Turning on to demographics, Clinton dominated when it came to those that specified a gender. Oddly, 100% of those who preferred not to answer supported Sanders in the poll. Clinton’s dominance was especially strong among women, unsurprisingly, as she becomes the likely first woman nominee for a major party in the history of the country.


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Following national trends, we see Clinton dominating in the 35+ age group, while Sanders managed to get a slight edge in the 17-34 crowd. This reflects general perception of the race. Unfortunately for Sanders, young voters have usually turned out in lower proportions, especially so for a Democratic primary in Puerto Rico, where turnout is likely to be dismal.

With all of these factors considered, and as it’s been widely published, Clinton will probably not only emerge victorious in Puerto Rico, but also clinch the nomination by Tuesday. By some counts, Clinton needs just 70 more delegates to become the presumptive Democratic nominee, and between the Virgin Islands, which vote on June 4, and Puerto Rico, there are 79 delegates at stake. This means, theoretically, that Puerto Rico could hand the former secretary of state the nomination. That said, this is unlikely, since Clinton would have to win both contests by unseen super-majorities (think 85% of the vote) in order to get that many delegates. Nonetheless, it is still a possibility.

What is practically assured however, is Clinton’s win on Sunday by rather comfortable margins. Below you will find a more detailed report with our results prepared by our associate editor for data, and you can download the raw data from the poll so you can draw your own conclusions. For now, we know that come Sunday afternoon, we will very likely declare Hillary Clinton as the winner of the Puerto Rico Democratic primary.

Extended Results & Analysis

For an extended look at the results, including data analysis and corrections based on voter behavior, download the presidential questions results:

Puerto Rico Primary Live Results and Twitter Panel