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Hillary Clinton loses support from white female Democrats, poll shows

Hillary Clinton is still leading the Democratic field nationally, according to a new Washington Post/ ABC poll, but her support has fallen to below 50 percent in large part due to a loss of support from white women.

As many as 42 percent of registered Democrats and registered Democratic-leaning independents support Clinton's presidential bid, according to the poll, conducted September 7-10. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, has 24 percent support, and Vice President Joe Biden -- who has yet to decide whether or not he's running -- wins 21 percent support.

How Clinton's email controversy is impacting 2016 campaign

While the former secretary of state still has a commanding lead over her Democratic opponents, her support has fallen 21 points among Democrats since July, the poll shows. The most notable drop in support comes from white women -- 64 percent of this demographic group supported her in July, while 31 percent support in her this survey.

Clinton's lead climbs back to 56 percent among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters if Biden is taken out of the mix, the poll shows.

Survey respondents were split over whether the controversy over Clinton's use of a private server as secretary of state is a legitimate campaign issue. Still, the poll showed more than half of Americans, 55 percent, say they disapprove of how she has handled questions about the issue.

CBS News' latest Batttleground Tracker results show that Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire prefer Sanders over Clinton, though Clinton has the lead among Democrats in South Carolina.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post/ABC poll shows businessman Donald Trump leading the Republican field with 33 percent support from Republican voters and Republican-leaning independents. Surgeon Ben Carson comes in second with 20 percent, while no other candidate in the crowded GOP field wins more than single-digit support. Not surprisingly, nearly six in 10 Republicans surveyed said they prefer the next president to have experience outside of the political establishment.

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