Clinton National Lead Steady

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s newest national poll finds a pretty steady race- but that the candidates are getting even more unpopular as the election approaches, with undecideds actually going up when they would usually be on the decline at this stage in the campaign. Hillary Clinton leads with 42% to 37% for Donald Trump, 6% for Gary Johnson, 4% for Jill Stein, and 1% for Evan McMullin, with 10% of voters still undecided. A month ago Clinton actually led 46/41 but both she and Trump’s support has dropped by 4 points, with support for third party candidates increasing from 8% to 11% and the level of undecideds increasing from 5% to 10%. It’s a similar story in the head to head- Clinton’s 5 point lead is the same as a month ago, but now it’s 48/43 instead of 50/45 with undecideds increasing from 5% to 9%.

One reason for the increased indecision is that both candidates have seen declines in their favorability ratings. They each saw some improvement in those in the immediate aftermath of their conventions, but those gains have already worn off. Clinton’s net favorability is -11 at 41/52, down 5 points from when it was -6 at 45/51 a month ago. Trump’s net favorability is -27 at 33/60, also down 5 points from -22 at 36/58 on our last poll.

One big thing in this election that continues to work to Clinton’s considerable advantage is the popularity of President Obama. He has a 50/46 approval rating, about the best position we’ve found him in at any point of his second term in office. But more importantly, when voters are asked whether they’d rather have another 4 years of Obama as President or change to the very different direction of Trump, they say they’d rather keep Obama by a 53/41 spread. Clinton positioning herself as a continuation of the current administration is a winning approach.

One reason Trump’s campaign may be struggling is that voters just don’t buy into the premise that the United States is a dangerous country. Just 26% say they consider it to be, to 64% who don’t think it’s a dangerous country. That may help explain why Trump’s ostensible outreach to African Americans and Latinos- playing up violence within their communities- isn’t working. Only 13% of African Americans and Latinos think Trump actually cares about them, to 74% who say they don’t think he does. Hillary Clinton is winning their voters 73-9 with Jill Stein at 6% and Gary Johnson at 3%.

Other notes from our national survey:

-Trump’s failure to release his tax returns continues to cause problems for him. 67% of voters think he needs to release them, to only 23% who say it’s not necessary.

-Trump has fought with most of the media over the course of this campaign but battles with the New York Times and CNN have been particularly prominent. Voters say by a 54/29 spread that the Times has more credibility than Trump, and by a 52/34 one that CNN has more credibility. Trump is losing his fights with the media in the arena of broader public opinion.

-Feelings that if Clinton wins the election it will only be because of voter fraud continue to be widespread among Trump voters. 67% think that if she wins it will be because the results were rigged for her, to only 18% who think her victory will simply be because she received more votes. 59% of Trump voters think that at least 10-25% of voters are fraudulently cast.

-Americans are largely ambivalent toward two major conservative figures that are prominent Trump supporters. 44% of voters say they have no opinion either way about Ann Coulter, with 20% of voters rating her favorably and 36% unfavorably. Sean Hannity is more prominent but still 38% of voters have no opinion either way about him, with 28% rating him favorably and 34% unfavorably.

-It’s widely known that Trump voters support building a wall on the border with Mexico to keep undocumented immigrants out of the country. We find that 31% of them also support building a wall along the Atlantic Ocean to keep Muslims from entering the country from the Middle East. 52% are opposed to that idea.

-We broke down how people were planning to vote for President this year based on whether they had been to their local library in the last year or not, and found a significant divide. Among voters who have been to the library, Clinton has a 17 point lead at 54/37. Among voters who haven’t been to the library, Trump has a 14 point lead at 53/39.

Much has been made of how Trump is a historically unpopular Presidential candidate, so we did an updated version of a poll we did in the spring testing Trump head to head with various unpopular/unpleasant things to see exactly just how unpopular Trump is when you grade him on a curve. The good news for Trump is that he beats out junk mail, mosquitoes, Bubonic Plague, carnies, Ryan Lochte, and bedbugs. The bad news for Trump is that he loses out to Duke University, middle seats on airplanes, public restrooms, and people who leave voicemails in the year 2016. Trump comes out dead even with personal injury lawyers, so that reflects pretty well what his popularity among Americans in on par with.

Here’s the full table:

Do you have a higher opinion of Donald Trump or________

Results (Trump +/-)

Junk Mail

Trump, 47/43 (+4)


Trump, 48/41 (+7)

Duke University

Duke University, 48/34 (-14)

Middle seats on airplanes

Middle seats on airplanes, 45/42 (-3)

Bubonic Plague

Trump, 56/30 (+26)


Trump, 41/31 (+10)

Personal Injury Lawyers

Tied, 44/44 (0)

Ryan Lochte

Trump, 39/35 (+4)

Public Restrooms

Public Restrooms, 47/45 (-2)

People who leave voicemails in the year 2016

People who leave voicemails in the year 2016, 47/41 (-6)


Trump, 56/34 (+22)

Full results here

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