The conventional wisdom for the 2016 Democratic primary has been fairly simple — women tend to support Hillary Clinton, at least partially out of a desire to see the United States have its first female president. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, attracts a lot of white men, the “Bernie Bros” of internet infamy.
New polling data from Morning Consult, though, suggests that this may not be entirely accurate.
When asked which of three candidates — Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders — most gives a voice to their opinions, 46% of men who identify as Democrats support Clinton, with 35% of male Democrats backing Sanders. The remainder either support Donald Trump or none of the above. Among women who identify as Democrats, though, Clinton and Sanders are tied at 38%.
It’s important to remember a few things, though: Sanders supporters may not identify as Democrats. Sanders himself was an independent until he decided to run for president last year. Among independent voters, 13% of both men and women think Clinton best voices their views. Sanders takes 30% and 29%, respectively, while Trump wins 29% and 24%.
Another thing: For this poll, Morning Consult did not include data on the specific preferences of white male voters versus black male voters. Hillary Clinton has fared much better with minority voters of both genders in the Democratic primary, and she has particularly struggled with white men.
When it comes to who people say they’d vote for, Clinton does a bit better — keeping in mind that a decent portion of voters may think her nomination is now inevitable. Among Democratic men, 52% say they’d vote for her over Trump and Sanders in a hypothetical three-candidate race. Still, just 45% of Democratic women say the same thing. And 18% of independent men say they would vote for Clinton, compared with 16% of independent women.
To beat Trump, Clinton will have to keep the gender gap that has favored Democrats in recent elections intact, and perhaps even widen it if Trump is able to mobilize white male voters the way some think he can. She may have her work cut out for her.
Morning Consult’s poll was conducted between May 5-9, and polled 2001 registered voters throughout the country.