Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters during a town hall forum, Jan. 3, 2016, Derry, N.H.
Photo by Ryan Mcbride/ZUMA

Poll: Clinton maintains lead over Sanders heading into primaries

With the first Democratic primary now less than a month away, Hillary Clinton holds a significant lead over Bernie Sanders, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll for the week of December 28, 2015 through January 3, 2016. Clinton leads Sanders by a 17-point margin—53 to 36—with only 2% of registered Democrat and Democratic-leaning voters supporting Martin O’Malley. The poll was conducted online among a national sample of 3,700 adults aged 18 and over.

Sanders supporters are slightly less decided than Clinton supporters. More than half of voters who say they are supporting Clinton are absolutely certain they will vote for her in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus. Forty-four percent of Sanders supporters are absolutely certain they will vote for him heading into the primaries.

Among subgroups of Democrat or Democratic-leaning voters, Clinton gets more support from those who identify as moderate. Sanders draws more support from those who identify as liberal or very liberal.

Clinton also commands strong support from female voters and black voters, but Sanders and Clinton are nearly tied among white voters.

Josh Clinton contributed reporting. Graphics by Sam Petulla.

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey weekly election tracking poll was conducted online by SurveyMonkey from December 28, 2015-January 3, 2016 among a national sample of 3,700 adults aged 18 and over, including 3,181 who say they are registered to vote. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. A full description of our methodology and the poll can be found here.

The poll was produced by the Data Analytics Lab of NBC News in conjunction with Penn’s Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies with data collection and tabulation conducted by SurveyMonkey.