POLITICS

HUFFPOLLSTER: Hillary Clinton Leads Nationally, Struggles In Some Battleground States

The race is effectively tied in North Carolina and Ohio.

Several new polls suggest a recovery for Hillary Clinton, while others offer better news for Donald Trump. Most Americans are concerned about Donald Trump’s rhetoric. And white working class voters feel left behind. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, September 22, 2016.

NATIONAL POLL HAS GOOD NEWS FOR CLINTON  - The first NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of likely voters, released Wednesday evening, shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 6 points, 43 percent to 37 percent, in a 4-way matchup, and by 7 points, 48 percent to 41 percent, in a head-to-head ― among the best results for Clinton reported in September. The poll finds Clinton and Trump’s supporters about equally enthusiastic about voting, although Clinton supporters are more likely to say their vote is “for” her, rather than against Trump. HuffPost Pollster’s model gives Clinton about a 4-point edge over Trump in a two-way matchup, and a 3-point edge with third party candidates included. [NBC, national chart]

SWING STATE SURVEYS ARE A MIXED BAG:

-New Hampshire - A Monmouth University released Wednesday also delivered good news for Clinton, giving her a 9-point lead over Trump in the Granite State, 47 percent to 38 percent. Democrats fared less well in the survey’s Senate matchup, which gave Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte a 2-point edge over Maggie Hassan. Pollster’s model puts Clinton up by 6, and shows Ayotte and Hassan nearly tied. [Monmouth, NH presidential chart, NH Senate chart]

-Wisconsin - The latest Marquette Law School poll finds Clinton with just a 2-point edge over Trump, 44 percent to 42 percent ― little changed from the end of August, but down from a double-digit lead immediately after the conventions. Democrat Russ Feingold continues to enjoy a comfortable margin over incumbent senator Ron Johnson, whom he leads by 6 points. Pollster’s model gives Clinton a lead of nearly 6 points, with Feingold up 8.  [Marquette, WI presidential chart, WI Senate chart]

-North Carolina - There’s less positive news for Clinton in North Carolina, where a Fox News poll from Wednesday night shows Trump ahead 45 percent to 40 percent. A Thursday morning New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll shows her faring better ― tying with Trump at 41 percent ― and finds Republicans struggling with white, college-educated voters in the state. HuffPost Pollster’s model also currently shows Clinton and Trump to be effectively tied.   [Fox, NYT, NC presidential chart]

-Nevada - The second of three battleground polls from Fox gives Trump a 3-point advantage, 43 percent to 40 percent, over Clinton. The Republican, who lagged in the state for most of the summer, has narrowly won all four of the most recent surveys there. HuffPost Pollster’s average puts both candidates at around 42 percent.   [Fox, NV presidential chart]

-Ohio - The third survey from Fox also found Trump leading in Ohio, with a 5-point lead, 42 percent to 37 percent. While several polls this month have shown Clinton in the lead, the majority ― including recent surveys from Bloomberg, Suffolk and CNN ― also showed Trump ahead. HuffPost Pollster’s average finds the race again tied at about 42 percent. [Fox, OH presidential chart] 

A BIG MAJORITY OF VOTERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT TRUMP’S RHETORIC - Mark Murray: “A combined 69 percent of American voters say they have concerns about Donald Trump’s comments and language on women, immigrants and Muslims, including more than half who have “major” concerns, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. That’s compared with a combined 64 percent of voters who say they have concerns about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Asked which problem concerns them the most about Trump, 33 percent say it’s not having the right temperament to be commander-in-chief; 27 percent say it’s his controversial comments about women, immigrants and Muslims; and 13 percent say it’s his praise for Vladimir Putin.” [NBC]

THE BIGGEST FACTOR IN CANDIDATE SUPPORT IS DISLIKE OF OTHER CANDIDATE - Carroll Doherty, Jocelyn Kiley and Bridget Johnson: “Voters who support Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump offer a variety of reasons why they do so, ranging from the candidates’ issue positions to their personal backgrounds. But a major factor for both groups, beyond their candidate’s attributes, is who they are not: Asked in an open-ended format, 33% of Trump supporters and about as many Clinton supporters (32%) frame their vote at least partially in opposition to the other candidate, often using harsh language. Among Clinton supporters, only her experience, at 32%, is mentioned as frequently as opposition to Trump. For Trump supporters, opposition to Clinton is among the most frequently cited factors for supporting their candidate, with nearly as many citing his status as a political outsider (27%) or his policy stances (26%).... Many voters have unqualified praise for their preferred candidate…. Yet sizable shares in both camps focus at least partly – or in many cases exclusively – on the flaws or shortcomings of the opposing candidate. Several voters, including a 41-year-old woman who is supporting Clinton, describe their choice as ‘the lesser of two evils.’ A 49-year-old man who backs Trump says: ‘As bad as he is, I think Hillary is worse for our country.’” [Pew] 

WORKING CLASS WHITES SEE AN ECONOMY LEAVING THEM BEHIND - Jennifer Agiesta: “The biggest story of the 2016 election is undoubtedly the rise of Donald Trump, and behind the Republican nominee is a group in its last throes as the biggest force in politics: The white working class. A new survey from CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation delves deeply into this pivotal group... Contrary to many assumptions about this group, the poll finds working class whites generally happy with their lives, and mostly satisfied with their personal financial situation. Just 18% say they are angry about the way things are going in their own lives, and 44% think America’s best days lie ahead…. But the white working class harbors deep concerns about the country’s economy, the amount the government is doing to help the working class and their own ability to influence politics. A majority, 53%, say they are very dissatisfied with the country’s economic situation and 84% say their views are not well represented by the government in Washington... About 6 in 10 white working class people say it’s gotten harder for people like them to get ahead financially and two-thirds say it’s harder to find good jobs. Many are concerned about what the next generation will face: 50% say they expect their children to have a lower standard of living than they currently have.” [CNN]

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THURSDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-An NBC/WSJ/Telemundo poll of Latinos shows Hillary Clinton leading by a huge margin. [NBC]

-Jewish GOP donors aren’t contributing to Trump. [538]  

-Bradley Jones explains why Barack Obama’s approval rating is so high when most are dissatisfied with the country’s direction. [Pew]

-James C. Delorey (D) explores how many Americans saw the photo of a young Syrian boy in an ambulance. [WorldPost]

-David Weigel says an obviously fake Monmouth University poll memo raises questions about how much partisans will believe. [WashPost]

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