Clinton Wins Debate: Focus Group of Undecided Iowans Says “Clinton Just Stronger”

Events of Paris Had Impact; Find Clinton’s Experience is Key; Sanders’ Message Not Enough to Overcome Issues of Electability

DES MOINES, Iowa--()--On Saturday evening, Park Street Strategies (PSS) conducted a three-hour dial focus group with 33 undecided Democrats in Des Moines, Iowa. During the focus group, the respondents, all likely caucus-goers, live-dialed the entire Democratic debate, responding second-by-second to the candidates’ responses, and found that Hillary Clinton has clearly won this critical democratic debate.

“Clinton clearly won the Iowa debate tonight, and may have essentially ended the race. It was clear that Clinton’s answers on terrorism, and her improved answers on domestic issues, moved undecided Iowans in striking ways. It has almost definitively made Clinton the likely nominee, and is a profound lost opportunity for Sanders and O’Malley,” said Chris Kofinis, of Park Street Strategies.

The following are the top six insights from the focus group:

1. Who Won: Clinton won the debate by a 23 to 10 margin compared to Sanders.

2. Who’s More Electable: By a 31 to 2 margin, these voters agree that Clinton is the most electable candidate.

3. Who is a Stronger Commander-in-Chief: Citing her experience, these voters unanimously think Clinton would be a stronger commander-in-chief than the other candidates.

4. Paris Effect: In light of the recent attacks in Paris, Clinton’s message on terrorism resonated very strongly with the group.

5. Wall Street Weakness: Clinton is vulnerable on donations and Wall Street. Her answer on 9/11 was very ineffective.

6. Who Won Undecided Voters: After the debate, 11 respondents said they now plan to vote for Clinton, while only 3 moved to support Sanders.

Additional details will be provided in a PSS memo that can be obtained by emailing

Please note: No candidate, party, or group paid for or was involved in the execution of this Iowa focus group. Park Street Strategies is not affiliated with any candidate or campaign, and has not endorsed or committed to working for any candidate or campaign.


Park Street Strategies
Lauren Koehler, 202-794-0276

Release Summary

Focus group of undecided Iowans says Clinton won the Democratic debate.


Park Street Strategies
Lauren Koehler, 202-794-0276