Clinton maintains lead on Sanders in post-debate poll

 
The CNN/ORC poll found that the former secretary of State has 50 percent support nationally among Democratic voters and Independents who are Democratic-leaning, with Sanders at 34 percent.
 
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Clinton's lead has declined slightly since the November version of the poll, where she had 58 percent to Sanders's 30 percent.
 
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley significantly trails behind, with 3 percent.
 
The support for Clinton depends on when those polled were surveyed, according to CNN polling director Jennifer Agiesta. The poll was conducted starting two days before Saturday's third Democratic debate through two days after. According to Agiesta, those surveyed before the debate favored Clinton 45 percent to 37 percent, while those interviewed after the debate supported Clinton 60 percent to 27 percent. 
 
But the poll also finds that Clinton has a negative favorability, 47 percent to 51 percent, while Sanders garnered a positive favorability of 46 percent to 36 percent.
 
When asked which candidate would be the best to tackle the economy, Clinton tops Sanders, 47 percent to 39 percent — even though economic issues are at the heart of the Vermont senator’s campaign. 
 
Clinton holds an even wider lead when it comes to the candidate who is best able to handle foreign policy, topping Sanders 72 percent to 15 percent. 
 
When it comes to hypothetical general election match-ups, however, Clinton doesn’t fare as well. 
 
She narrowly leads Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in a head-to-head, 49 percent to 47 percent. But she slightly trails match-ups with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), 46 percent to 49 percent, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), 46 percent to 48 percent.
 
The poll was conducted Dec. 17-21 and surveyed 1,018 adults via telephone. The margin of error for the full sample was 3 percentage points.
 
In the breakdown, 414 registered voters who are Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents were surveyed, and the margin of error was 5 percentage points.