GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hillary Clinton has a handy lead over Bernie Sanders leading up to Michigan’s presidential primary on Tuesday, according to a new poll commissioned by WOOD TV8.
The EPIC-MRA poll released Saturday found that 56 percent of voters said they would vote for the former secretary of state if the primary were held today. Sanders was 25 points behind her, with 31 percent of respondents saying they would vote for the U.S. senator from Vermont.
Clinton did even better among people who have already cast their votes. Of the respondents who have already voted by absentee ballot, 67 percent said they voted for Clinton while 24 percent voted for Sanders.
Despite his gap in terms of voters, Sanders is nearly as likable as Clinton. Eighty percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Sanders, while 73 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Sanders.
However, more voters thought Clinton shared their values, had the right kind of experience, would work for bipartisan solutions, would be able to inspire people, would be a strong leader and would better protect American from terrorism than her opponent. The pair came in statistically even in trustworthiness, caring about voters and progressiveness.
Perhaps most importantly, 72 percent of respondents thought Clinton had the best chance to win the general election in November, while only 17 percent thought Sanders did.
>>PDF: Poll results
CLINTON LEADS AMONG MORE REGIONS, AGE GROUPS
In West Michigan, Clinton had an even more comfortable lead than overall, with 73 percent of the people polled saying they would vote for her (Sanders got 24 percent).
Clinton leads in the Bay area with 67 percent of the vote, in northern Michigan with 58 percent and in southeast Michigan with 55 percent. Sanders leads in central Michigan with about 49 percent of the vote.
When broken down by age, EPIC-MRA found that Clinton fared very well with voters over the age of 65. Seventy percent of respondents in that age group said they would vote for her, while only 20 percent favored Sanders. People ages 35-64 also preferred Clinton. She had about 50 percent in that age group, while Sanders had around 30 percent.
Sanders was doing much better with voters under the age of 34 — 65 percent of people in that age group said they would vote for him. Twenty-eight percent said they would choose Clinton.
Clinton also did slightly better among women than men, with 62 percent of women supporting her and only 48 percent of men.
WHO TOOK THE POLL
The poll questioned 400 people between Feb. 28 and March 1. It has a 4.9 percent margin of error.
Of the people surveyed, 86 percent identified themselves as Democrats. Forty-five percent said they were “very” or “mostly” liberal and 37 percent considered themselves moderate. Nine percent said they were Independents, and 2 percent said they were Republicans.
Seventy-one percent said they considered themselves to be pro-choice, while 21 percent said they were pro-life and 8 percent were either undecided or declined to answer.
Sanders has said that if he becomes president, he’ll set aside $75 billion to pay for free college. The money would come from taxes on stock market trades, bond transactions and other trades. Of the people polled, 66 percent said they agreed with that plan, while 28 percent opposed it.
SHOULD MUSLIMS BE BANNED?
Of the people polled, 82 percent said they disagreed with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States until the country has a better handle on efforts by ISIS or Al-Qaeda to infiltrate our nation with trained terrorists. Fifteen percent agreed with the proposal to some degree.
>>Inside woodtv.com: Complete coverage of Decision 2016
HOW REPUBLICANS STAND
In a recent EPIC-MRA poll focusing on Republican candidates, Trump was leading in Michigan with 29 percent of the vote. U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were in a statistical tie for second place about 10 points behind him.
That poll was released before Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in Detroit. It’s unclear how that affected the rankings, if at all.