Iowa Democrats split on switch to primary: poll

 Iowa Democrats split on switch to primary: poll
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Iowa's Democratic voters are split on whether the state should swap its traditional caucuses for a primary, according to a new poll. 

Respondents were divided almost evenly, with 42 percent favoring the caucus system and 44 percent backing a switch to a more inclusive primary, the CNN-The Des Moines Register poll found. The difference is within the survey's margin of error of 4 percentage points. 

The poll found that 42 percent of Democratic voters surveyed said it is more important to them that Iowa remain “the first test of Democratic presidential candidates, even if it means not everyone who wants to can participate on caucus night.”

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However, 44 percent said it’s more important for Iowa to hold a primary “so everyone can vote, even if it means Iowa would no longer be the first test.”

Another 14 percent said they are not sure. 

The results varied by age and across the Democratic political spectrum, with more liberal and younger voters preferring a primary system.

The poll found 63 percent of those who said they were liberal preferred a primary, compared to 38 percent of moderate likely Democratic voters who backed the switch. 

The majority of voters under the age of 35 — 53 percent — also preferred a primary, while just 37 percent of voters over the age 55 said they agreed.   

The survey polled 3,510 randomly selected active voters from Iowa’s voter registry list. Responses were adjusted by age, sex and congressional district. The margin of error is 4 percentage points, but the margin of error is larger for results based on smaller samples or respondents, such as gender and age.