Democratic Primary Preview: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina
Clinton Pressed in Iowa, But Holds Wide Leads Elsewhere
Summary of Findings
Democrats enter the presidential primary campaign upbeat about their candidates and united in their views on major issues. Sen. Hillary Clinton is the clear frontrunner in New Hampshire and South Carolina, where she holds 19-point and 14-point leads, respectively. However in Iowa she is in a statistical tie with Barack Obama.
Clinton has a clear advantage on the key issue of health care, and leads among Democratic women voters in all three states — where women constitute majorities of the likely caucus and primary electorates. Her lead is also particularly wide among older voters — voters over age 50 in all three states favor her over Obama by more than two-to-one.
Overall, Clinton’s standing in Iowa and New Hampshire is no better than Howard Dean’s at a comparable point in the 2004 presidential campaign. However, Clinton has stronger support in all three states than did the former Vermont governor. Indeed, there is considerably more strong support for each of the three leading Democratic candidates in Iowa — Clinton, Obama and John Edwards — than there was for Dean and the other leading Iowa contenders four years ago.
This strong backing reflects the high level of enthusiasm among Democratic voters in each of the early states, as well as nationwide. Democrats rate the field of candidates far more positively than they did at this point in the 2004 campaign. Democratic voters also are in broad agreement about the importance of major issues and are overwhelmingly opposed to President Bush and the Iraq war. Overall, the war and health care are the dominant concerns of Democratic voters nationally and those in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
There are divisions among primary state Democrats, particularly in the area of social policy. Democrats in South Carolina, where African Americans constitute approximately half of the electorate, hold more conservative opinions on gay marriage, abortion, and the cultural impact of immigrants than do voters in the other early states. By contrast, New Hampshire Democrats are more liberal, particularly when it comes to gay marriage.
An overwhelming majority of likely Democratic voters in Iowa (87%) have a favorable impression of the party’s presidential candidates. At this stage in 2004, 75% of likely Democratic caucus-goers expressed a positive view of the candidates. There has been an even larger increase in favorable opinions of the Democratic candidates in New Hampshire (from 59% to 76%). And in South Carolina, the proportion of Democrats expressing a positive opinion of the field has jumped from 39% to 68%.
In addition, while levels of strong support for the candidates are far higher than in December 2003, a large proportion of likely Democratic voters in the early states say they could imagine voting for any of the Democratic candidates in the primaries. About half of likely voters in Iowa (51%) say they would be comfortable casting their primary vote for any of the Democratic candidates who are running, as would 49% of those in New Hampshire and 57% in South Carolina. Among those who do rule out one or more candidates, Clinton is mentioned most often; 18% of likely Democratic voters in Iowa would not consider voting for her, and 15% in New Hampshire, say they absolutely would not vote for Clinton.
The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, in collaboration with the Associated Press, was conducted Nov. 7-25 among 460 voters likely to vote in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses; 594 likely voters in New Hampshire’s Jan. 8 Democratic primary; and 373 likely voters in South Carolina’s Jan. 26 Democratic primary. In addition, a separate national survey was conducted among 467 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who say they are likely to vote in a primary or caucus in their state.
The survey shows that Clinton gets strong grades as the candidate who “has the best chance of defeating the Republican nominee.” More than twice as many likely Iowa Democratic caucus goers say Clinton, rather than Obama, has the best chance of winning (48% vs. 18%), and she has sizable advantages in electability in the other states and nationally as well.
But fewer Democratic voters say that electability is an important factor in choosing a candidate than did so four years ago. In 2003, as many as 40% of likely Iowa Democratic caucus goers said it would be more important to choose a candidate who could defeat George Bush than one who came closest to their positions on the issues.
Today, however, just 24% of likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers view electability as more important than a candidate’s issue positions. Among likely Democratic voters nationally, only about half the number prioritize electability this year than did so in December 2003.
In many ways, the Democratic electorates of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina are starkly different in their demographic makeup. Most notably, African Americans constitute about half of likely primary voters in South Carolina (51%), while they make up just 3% of the likely electorate in Iowa and less than 1% of the likely electorate in New Hampshire.
There is a sizable divide in the preferences of white and black voters in South Carolina: Obama runs even with Clinton among likely African American voters (Obama 44% vs. Clinton 43%). However, Clinton holds a substantial advantage among white Democratic voters in South Carolina (Clinton 49%, Obama 16%, Edwards 20%).
The constituencies are different in other ways as well. Roughly six-in-ten likely Democratic voters (61%) in New Hampshire are college graduates or have attended college as have 63% of likely caucus-goers in Iowa. That compares to about half of likely Democratic voters in South Carolina and nationwide. Democratic voters in New Hampshire also attend religious services less frequently: 43% say they seldom or never attend services, compared with 25% nationally, 28% in Iowa, and just 14% of likely Democratic voters in South Carolina.
In all three states, women make up a majority of likely voters. This clearly works to Clinton’s advantage in New Hampshire, where she nearly triples Obama’s support among women voters (46%-17%). Among men who plan to vote in the Democratic primaries, Clinton’s lead is much narrower (28%-20%).
The gender gap is much smaller in Iowa than it is in New Hampshire or nationally. Clinton leads Obama by eight points among women in Iowa (34%-26%), and has a three-point edge among men (28%-25%). But looking further down the ticket the race in Iowa is clearly more wide open among men. John Edwards trails Clinton by only six points among men who plan to attend a Democratic caucus, whereas among female voters Clinton has a two-to-one lead over Edwards (34% vs. 17%). Richardson, too, garners somewhat more support among men who plan to vote (13%) than among women (7%).
As is the case nationally, Clinton’s lead in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina also is boosted by her considerable backing among Democratic voters who are less educated and older. In all three states, she more than doubles Obama’s support among voters age 50 and older, and her lead is widest among voters who never attended college. In all three states Obama runs about even with Clinton among college graduates, and in Iowa and South Carolina he garners significantly more support from younger voters than he does from older voters.
Democratic voters in the three early states largely concur in their negative opinions of President Bush and generally support withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq as soon as possible. Roughly nine-in-ten likely Democratic voters in Iowa and New Hampshire disapprove of Bush’s performance as do 86% of voters in South Carolina. Solid majorities in the three states say U.S. forces should be pulled from Iraq as soon as possible, although most voters favor a gradual, rather than immediate, troop withdrawal.
There also is broad agreement regarding the importance of major issues. In all three states, the war in Iraq and health care lead the list of issues that Democratic voters want the candidates to discuss. No other issue, not even the economy, rivals these two issues in the agenda of Democratic voters.
Terrorism, an issue that typically rates as a leading concern among Republicans, is barely on the radar of Democratic voters. Just 2% volunteer terrorism or protecting the nation as the issue they would most like to hear candidates talk about. Similarly, immigration, which also rates consistently high on the agenda of Republicans, is mentioned by just 4% of Democratic voters nationally — and comparable percentages in the early states — as the issue they would most like the candidates to discuss.
Clinton’s greatest advantage on issues, by far, comes on the question of which candidate would do the best job of improving the health care system. In Iowa, about twice as many voters say Clinton could best handle health care as name Obama (41% vs. 21%). Her advantage is even greater in the other two states and nationally.
Democratic voters in the three states diverge over which candidate is best able to handle other issues, such as the war in Iraq, immigration and improving job opportunities. But while Obama nearly equals Clinton’s strength in some states on some issues, there is no issue on which he holds a clear advantage. Slightly more Iowa Democrats say Obama than Clinton could best handle immigration (by 23%-17%), and about as many believe Bill Richardson could best handle this issue (19%).
While Democratic voters in the three early primary states largely agree on Iraq and several other major issues, there are significant differences over social policies. On balance, more South Carolina Democratic voters oppose than favor gay marriage (by 54%-34%). Solid majorities in Iowa and New Hampshire, including 68% in the latter, favor gay marriage. Democrats in South Carolina also take more conservative positions on abortion and immigration than do Democratic voters elsewhere.
However, there is greater acceptance of gay marriage among Democratic voters in each of the states, and Democrats nationally, than there was four years ago. In South Carolina, Democratic voters opposed gay marriage by greater than three-to-one in December 2003 (72%-21%); in the current survey, 54% are opposed while 34% favor gay marriage.
In New Hampshire, support for gay marriage among likely Democratic voters has increased by 16 points (from 52% to 68%), and in Iowa it has risen by 13 points (from 42% to 55%). This is consistent with the trend among national Democrats; currently 51% favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry, up from 40% in December 2003.
The Iowa Democratic Primary
Of the three states surveyed, the Democratic contest in Iowa is the closest. Overall, Hillary Clinton has a narrow five-point edge over Barack Obama (31% vs. 26%) among likely Democratic voters. John Edwards runs third at 19%, and Bill Richardson garners the support of 10% of Iowa voters. No other candidate is supported by more than 2%.
The Iowa contest was similarly tight at a comparable point four years ago. Howard Dean led Richard Gephardt by a 29% to 21% margin in early December, 2003, with John Kerry running a close third at 18%.
One key difference this year, however, is that all of the leading candidates garner considerably more strong support this year than was the case four years ago. Overall, two-thirds (66%) of Iowa Democrats say they support their favored candidate “strongly,” including solid majorities of those who back each of the leading candidates. Just under half (48%) of Iowa Democrats said the same in the lead-up to the 2004 Iowa caucuses, and no leading candidate had a majority of their supporters expressing strong allegiance.
Iowa Democrats are also more committed than their New Hampshire counterparts, 54% of whom back their candidate strongly.
As is the case nationwide, Clinton holds the advantage among voters who are less educated, female, age 50 and older, and moderate or conservative. Barack Obama runs slightly ahead of Clinton among younger voters, liberals and college graduates. The age gap in Iowa is particularly noteworthy. Barack Obama is supported by 34% of Iowa Democrats under age 50, and just 16% of those ages 50 and over.
Obama also wins substantial backing from independents who plan to attend a Democratic caucus on Jan. 3. He leads Clinton by a 32% to 19% margin among these independent voters, compared with Clinton’s 35% to 24% advantage among Democratic identifiers, who make up 72% of likely caucus-goers.
John Edwards does slightly better when the sample is narrowed to those who have the highest probability of voting on Jan. 3. He is backed by 22% of those who say they will “definitely” attend the Democratic caucus and among those who have attended a caucus before, placing him about even with Obama among these likeliest of voters, and only slightly behind Clinton.
One effect of the caucus process is to concentrate candidate support, since within each caucus the backers of candidates receiving less than 15% of the vote at that location have the opportunity to shift their support to their second choice candidate. Based on the current survey, there is little evidence that this reallocation will fundamentally change the dynamics of the race. Each of the three leading candidates gains three or four points from the reallocation of votes from other candidates, leaving roughly the same order of finish. (Although more Iowa voters list Obama and Edwards as their “second choice” than list Clinton, most who do are supporters of one of the other leading candidates and would not be reallocated).
Nearly half of Iowa voters (48%) see Hillary Clinton as the candidate with the best chance of defeating the Republican nominee next November. This includes 86% of those who support Clinton as their first choice, as well as 32% of those who favor Obama, Edwards or another candidate. Most Democratic voters, in Iowa and elsewhere, say electability is not their main concern, however. By a margin of 72% to 24%, Iowa Democrats say it is more important to choose the candidate who comes closest to their positions on the issues rather than the candidate who has the best chance of winning the general election. And while 62% of Iowa voters are voting for the candidate they see as most electable, 38% are not.
When it comes to issues, 41% of likely Iowa Democratic voters view Clinton as the candidate best able to improve the health care system, roughly double the number who cite Obama (21%) or Edwards (20%). Iowa voters are most divided when it comes to who can do the best to improve job opportunities for Americans — 28% cite Clinton, 26% Obama, and 19% Edwards. Clinton’s weakest issue is immigration. Just 17% of Iowa Democrats name her as the candidate best able to deal with immigration. Both Obama (23%) and Bill Richardson (19%) are cited more often.
Yet the electoral implications of these candidate rankings are unclear. For example, among the 41% who cite Clinton as strongest on health care, roughly a third favors a different candidate. And while 19% see Richardson as best able to deal with immigration, most who say this are voting for someone else.
In fact, among the three issues that top the agenda of Democratic voters in Iowa — Iraq, health care and economic issues, Clinton’s largest lead is among those who prioritize the economy. Among the 22% of Iowa Democrats who say they most want to hear candidates talk about economic issues, 40% back Clinton for the Democratic nomination, compared to 21% who back Edwards and 16% Obama. By comparison, voters who cite the war in Iraq as the single issue the most want to hear about divide their vote almost evenly between Clinton (28%) and Obama (32%). And while many voters identify Clinton with the health care issue, she leads Obama by a modest 32% to 22% margin among those who rank this as the issue they most want to hear about.
The New Hampshire Democratic Primary
Of the three states surveyed, Clinton’s lead over her competitors is widest in New Hampshire. Among likely Democratic primary voters, twice as many back Clinton (38%) as Obama (19%), followed by John Edwards at 15% and Bill Richardson at 10%. No other candidate is supported by more than 4%.
There is a substantial gender gap among New Hampshire Democrats. Clinton holds a 29-point advantage over Obama among women in Iowa (46% to 17%), compared with an eight-point advantage among men (28% to 20%). She also leads Obama by nearly 30 points (46% to 17%) among voters age 50 and older, while those under age 50 are more divided.
As is the case nationwide, Clinton’s strongest backing in New Hampshire comes from those with less education. New Hampshire voters who have not attended college favor Clinton over Obama by a 52% to 16% margin, while the vote is divided almost evenly (27% to 22%, respectively) among those with college degrees.
About a third of New Hampshire likely Democratic voters are Catholic. Roughly half (51%) of Catholics favor Clinton for the party nomination. Clinton receives the support of 35% of Protestants and 35% of those with no religious affiliation.
Just 15% of likely voters in the Democratic primary say they or someone in their household is a member of a labor union. These voters do not view the field of candidates significantly differently from the 85% majority with no union ties, though Bill Richardson runs slightly stronger among voters in union households.
As is the case in Iowa, likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire rate Clinton highest in terms of her ability to improve the U.S. health care system — 52% see her as the strongest candidate on this issue. Immigration is Clinton’s weakest issue; just 20% rate her as the best candidate to deal with this issue, another 20% prefer Richardson, and 16% Barack Obama.
Clinton also stands out to New Hampshire voters as the most electable candidate. More than half (56%) say she has the best chance to defeat a Republican next November. But as in Iowa, likely voters in the Democratic primary overwhelmingly say that issues (74%), not electability (21%) is most important to them as they evaluate the candidates.
The South Carolina Democratic Primary
Hillary Clinton holds a 14-point lead over Barack Obama among likely Democratic voters in South Carolina, where there is a stark difference between black and white voting patterns. Among African Americans, who make up just over half (51%) of likely Democratic primary voters in the state, only two candidates are under consideration: Obama is backed by 44% and Clinton by 43%. John Edwards is supported by just 1% of black South Carolina Democratic voters, and no other candidate receives even that much support.
Obama has far less appeal to white voters in South Carolina. Just 16% of whites favor Obama for the Democratic nomination, compared with 49% who favor Clinton. John Edwards runs four points ahead of Obama among whites in South Carolina.
One factor in Obama’s favor is the intensity of support he receives from African American voters. While Obama and Clinton run even among blacks in terms of overall support, 34% of blacks say they back Obama “strongly,” compared with 25% who back Clinton “strongly.”
As in other states, and nationwide, Clinton’s electoral strength in South Carolina is among Democratic voters with less education. She leads Obama by a 53% to 28% margin among those who never attended college, while the race is even among those who have. Clinton also holds a 15-point lead among voters with household incomes under $50,000 annually compared with a smaller four-point lead among those earning more.
As in Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton is far and away the strongest candidate when it comes to voter evaluations of electability and ability to handle the health care issue. But when it comes to handling the situation in Iraq or the job situation, opinions are more divided. Nearly as many South Carolina Democratic voters see Obama (31%) as Clinton (36%) as the candidate who can make the best decisions about Iraq. By comparison, Clinton has a 55% to 19% advantage over Obama when it comes to improving the health care system.
Attitudes of Democrats in Early States
The Democratic electorates in the early primary states differ on a number of key opinions and attitudes. Democratic voters in South Carolina are more conservative on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion than are Democratic voters nationally, or those in Iowa and New Hampshire. South Carolina Democrats also offer more negative evaluations of their personal finances than do those in the other early primary states.
In terms of economic and financial attitudes, likely Democrats in all three early primary states — as well as Democrats nationally — give negative evaluations of the nation’s economy. However, there are substantial differences across the three Democratic electorates in opinions about the local job situation.
In Iowa, likely Democratic caucus-goers offer a positive assessment of the job situation in their community — nearly half (46%) say there are plenty of jobs available while 44% say jobs are difficult to find. Fewer likely Democratic voters in New Hampshire (36%), and just 22% of those in South Carolina, say that jobs are easy to find in their communities. Nationally, 29% of Democratic voters say jobs are plentiful in their area.
Notably, perceptions of the local job situation have shown sharp improvement since 2003 among Democrats in both Iowa and New Hampshire. In December 2003, just 14% of Iowa Democrats said there were plenty of jobs available locally, less than a third of the percentage currently. In New Hampshire, perceptions of the local jobs picture among Democrats also is more positive now than it was four years ago (36% say there are plenty of jobs vs. 20% in 2003).
However, perceptions of the local jobs situation remain overwhelmingly negative among Democratic voters in South Carolina. Just 22% say plenty of jobs are available in their communities, which is largely unchanged from 2003 (17%).
Democratic voters in the three states also view their personal financial situations in about the same way as they did four years ago. Majorities in Iowa (54%) and New Hampshire (54%) rate their finances as good or excellent. That compares with just 40% of Democratic voters across the country, and 44% of South Carolina Democrats.
Free Trade, Taxes
On balance, Democratic voters generally view free trade agreements such as NAFTA as a bad thing, rather than a good thing, for the country. About half of Democratic voters in Iowa and New Hampshire (51% and 47%, respectively), and about as many in South Carolina (44%) say free trade agreements have had a negative impact on the country. Nationally, Democratic voters also believe free trade agreements have a negative impact.
There is no evidence that opposition to free trade agreements has increased since 2003. Indeed, nearly identical proportions of Democrats in Iowa (53%), New Hampshire (44%) and South Carolina (43%) then said that trade agreements were a bad thing for the country.
On tax policy, there is minimal support among Democratic voters for retaining the tax cuts enacted under President Bush. Just 11% of all Democratic voters, and comparable percentages in the three primary states, believe that all of the tax cuts passed during Bush’s presidency should be preserved.
However, Democrats differ over whether all of Bush’s tax cuts should be repealed, or only those for the wealthy. In Iowa and New Hampshire, solid majorities favor scrapping the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy while leaving other tax reductions in place (58% Iowa, 56% New Hampshire). That also is the approach favored by most Democratic voters nationally (54%). However, Democratic voters in South Carolina are divided, with 40% favoring a repeal of tax cuts for the wealthy and about the same number (42%) supporting a repeal of all of Bush’s tax cuts.
Differences over Government’s Role
Consistent with their approach to tax policy, South Carolina Democrats also favor a more expansive role for government than do Democrats in the other early states or Democrats nationally. Fully 61% of South Carolina Democrats say they would rather a have a bigger government that provides more services, while just 27% prefer a smaller government providing fewer services.
By contrast, 53% of Democrats nationally, and fewer than half in Iowa (47%) and New Hampshire (44%) say they would prefer a bigger government with more services rather than a smaller government with fewer services. In New Hampshire, roughly the same proportion of Democratic voters favors a smaller, less activist government (41%) as one providing greater services.
There is greater agreement among Democratic voters over the question of whether the government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens, even if it means raising taxes. Roughly eight-in-ten Democratic voters in Iowa (84%), New Hampshire (78%) and South Carolina (78%) say they favor a government guarantee of universal health coverage even it means higher taxes. About the same proportion of Democrats nationally (81%) also favor that approach.
Divisions Over Iran, Not Iraq
U.S. policy toward Iran has emerged as major issue in the Democratic debates, and among likely Democratic voters nationwide there is no consensus over the immediacy of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. Just under half of Democratic voters nationally (48%) say their greater concern is that the United States will act too quickly in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, while 40% say the greater concern is that we will wait too long to deal with the issue.
Opinion is comparable among South Carolina Democratic voters; 46% say their bigger concern is that the United States will act too quickly while 44% they worry the United States will wait too long. By contrast, solid majorities of likely Democratic voters in New Hampshire (64%) and Iowa (60%) say their bigger concern is that the United States will act too quickly in addressing the Iranian nuclear program.
South Carolina Democrats also express more conservative views than those in other early states about whether it is generally right for the government to engage in warrantless surveillance of citizens suspected of having ties with terrorists. By more than a two-to-one margin, Democrats in Iowa believe such warrantless surveillance is generally wrong (65% vs. 31%); opinion is comparable in New Hampshire (68% generally wrong vs. 29% generally right). A smaller majority in South Carolina (56%) believes that government surveillance of suspected terrorists without a court order is generally wrong, while 40% say it is generally right. Opinions of Democrats nationally are nearly identical to Democratic voters in South Carolina (56% generally wrong vs. 41% generally right).
By wide margins, Democratic voters nationally and in the three early states favor bringing U.S. forces home as soon as possible. This sentiment is most widespread in South Carolina: fully three-quarters of likely Democratic voters there (76%) favor a U.S. troop withdrawal, compared with 66% each in Iowa and New Hampshire. Nationally, 74% of likely Democratic voters support a troop withdrawal as soon as possible, while 22% want to keep the troops there until the situation is stabilized. By margins of at least two-to-one, Democrats in the early primary states who support a U.S. troop withdrawal want the pullout to be gradual, over the next year or two, rather than immediate.
There also are modest differences among Democratic voters about whether the use of torture against suspected terrorists is justified. Majorities of Democratic voters in the three early states surveyed say that torture against terrorist suspects is rarely or never justified. Fully 70% of likely voters in Iowa express this opinion, while 28% say torture is often or sometimes justified. Smaller proportions of Democratic voters in New Hampshire (63%) and South Carolina (59%) say the use of torture against suspected terrorists is rarely or never justified.
Views on Issues and Candidate Preferences
Despite the fact that Democratic voters in these primary states differ among themselves on many issues, attitudes on most of the issues are not strongly related to candidate preference. Even though most voters say that issues are more important to their nomination choice than whether a particular candidate can get elected, there is little evidence that issue differences are driving voter preferences.
The most notable differences occur on issues related to national security, where Hillary Clinton generally does better among Democratic voters who hold more conservative positions. For example, in Iowa she leads Barack Obama by 24 points among the minority of voters who say that the use of torture against terrorist suspects can be often or sometimes justified. Voters who say torture of suspected terrorists is rarely or never justified (70% of likely voters in Iowa) split their vote about evenly between Clinton (27%) and Obama (30%).
Clinton also leads Obama by 18 points among likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers who say that it is generally right for the government to wiretap Americans suspected of having terrorist ties; among those opposed to this practice, she trails Obama by three points.
Similarly, Clinton leads Obama in Iowa by 15 points among voters who worry that the U.S. will wait too long to deal with Iran’s potential nuclear threat. Those who worry the U.S. will act too quickly favor Obama by three points.
The war in Iraq tops the list of issues Democratic voters want to hear about from the candidates. The major difference in candidate preference on the issue of Iraq is the somewhat greater support that John Edwards receives among the 20% of Iowa voters who favor removing all troops from Iraq immediately. Edwards is the choice of 30% of these voters, though he still falls five points behind Clinton. Among the larger group of Iowans who favor a more gradual withdrawal, Edwards receives the support of only 16%.
Barack Obama benefits from a similar pattern of support in South Carolina, where 42% of voters who favor immediate withdrawal favor him. Among those supporting gradual withdrawal, only 27% pick Obama.
On economic issues, the pattern is much more mixed. Hillary Clinton is more popular among less affluent voters, and in Iowa and South Carolina she does much better among voters who say they would prefer a bigger government providing more services than among those who prefer a smaller government. But on specific economic issues such as health insurance and tax cuts, there is no clear pattern of candidate preferences among those taking either liberal or conservative positions.
While John Edwards has run an aggressively populist campaign, he is no more popular among voters with the most liberal attitudes on economic issues, or among those whose financial situation is especially difficult. The only exception to this is the somewhat greater support for Edwards among voters who say that free trade agreements have been a bad thing for the United States.
On social issues, the only significant difference in candidate preferences appears on the issue of immigration, where Hillary Clinton attracts a significantly larger share of voters who say that the growing number of immigrants threaten traditional customs and values. About one-third of Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats hold this view and Clinton has a much larger lead among these voters. Part of this association is a result of the fact that Clinton does very well among voters with no college education; these voters are much more likely to have a negative view of immigrants.