Donald Trump could be gaining in Ohio, but he’s still behind in other battleground states. Women are heavily favoring Hillary Clinton. And voters trust the Republican Party more than Trump on key issues. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, October 18, 2016.
TRUMP DOESN’T HAVE MUCH ROOM TO IMPROVE AMONG UNDECIDEDS - James Hohmann: “With the help of our in-house pollster Scott Clement, I studied the 14 percent of registered voters who support neither Clinton nor Trump in the four-way poll test…. Among this sub-group, 71 percent are ‘strongly unfavorable’ to Trump versus 46 percent who say the same of Clinton…. [T]here is a big chasm on two questions that tend to be better predictors of vote choice: 77 percent say Trump is not qualified to be president, compared to 44 percent who say Clinton is not. And 86 percent say Trump lacks the temperament to be president, compared to 42 percent who say the same of Clinton. This 14 percent is crucial because nearly everyone else can no longer be persuaded: 88 percent of Trump supporters and 89 percent of Clinton backers said they will ‘definitely’ support their current preference. More than 1.4 million ballots have already been cast, and a superior Democratic ground game is locking in her advantage.” [WashPost]
STATE POLLS SHOW CLINTON LEADING IN MOST BATTLEGROUNDS - Nick Bayer: “Days before the third and final presidential debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump in most key battleground states.... Ohio and North Carolina are close, Florida and Nevada are trending toward Clinton, and Colorado and Pennsylvania are looking pretty safe for the Democratic presidential ticket. Clinton and Trump debate on Wednesday, giving voters a last chance to see them on the same stage before the Nov. 8 election.” [HuffPost]
Ohio is moving back toward Trump - More from Bayer: “Ohio polls have leaned toward Clinton in recent weeks, but a new CNN/ORC poll shows Trump has the edge. In a four-way race, Trump leads Clinton, 48 percent to 44 percent, among likely voters. The poll shows Libertarian Gary Johnson with 4 percent, and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at 2 percent. A new Quinnipiac poll finds Clinton and Trump tied among likely voters ― each taking 45 percent ― while Johnson wins 6 percent and Stein picks up 1 percent.” The mixed results from Ohio polls haven’t been enough to shift the HuffPost model ― it still shows Clinton up by about 2 points. [HuffPost]
WOMEN ARE SWINGING THE ELECTION TOWARD CLINTON - Harry Enten: “We could be looking at the largest gender gap in a presidential election since at least 1952: Men are favoring the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, in typical numbers, but a historically overwhelming share of women say they will vote for the Democrat, Hillary Clinton….A gender gap is quite normal. Exit polls, for instance, show that Democrats won the national House vote among women in 2014, despite Republicans notching a landslide victory overall. And there has been a consistent gap in recent presidential elections, beginning with the 1980 race. But even so, Democrats didn’t carry women in such overwhelming numbers…. Basically, the vote among men looks ‘normal’; the split among women does not. That is, the historically large gender gap this election is because women are disproportionately favoring one candidate (Clinton) — to an extent we wouldn’t expect them to in a normal election given the ‘fundamentals.’” 
Women of all ages, education levels support Clinton - Hannah Hartig, John Lapinski and Stephanie Psyllos: “[In the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll] Clinton currently enjoys a large margin over Trump among a number of key demographic groups including likely women voters (+18 points). Trump continues to lead Clinton among likely men voters overall (+7 points).... Clinton currently leads Trump among women of every age group…. Likely women voters support Clinton regardless of their education level. Women with college degrees support her by a 37-point margin, 62 percent to 25 percent. Among women without college degrees, Clinton leads by a narrower 6-point margin, 46 percent to 40 percent.” [NBC]
TRUMP LAGS GOP ON TRUST TO HANDLE KEY ISSUES - HuffPollster: “Voters trust the Republican Party to handle the economy and foreign policy, a new survey finds. They just don’t trust its presidential nominee. A new GW Battleground poll, released Monday morning, asked half of the likely voters surveyed whether they trusted the Republican Party or the Democratic Party more to handle a slate of issues. The GOP led on most of the issues and lagged only modestly on the rest. The other half of those surveyed were asked whether they trusted Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton more on the same issues. They preferred Clinton on every single metric. Trump, in other words, seems to have taken the GOP’s advantage on issues like taxes and foreign policy and turned it into a striking deficit, while driving Republicans’ weakness on health care and the middle class even deeper….These findings ― which mirror the results of past Battleground polls ― offer both good and bad news for the GOP. On one hand, they underscore exactly how bad Trump is as a candidate….On the other hand, [they] suggest Trump’s weakness isn’t necessarily dragging down the party’s image ― a positive sign for the GOP’s chances in down-ballot races.” [HuffPost]
TRUMP’S SUPPORTERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO DOUBT ELECTORAL PROCESSES - HuffPollster: “Despite no evidence to support fears of widespread voter fraud, election rigging or fixed vote counting, Donald Trump continues to claim that the Nov. 8 election outcome will not be legitimate…. And in a bad twist for American democracy, his supporters are listening. A recent SurveyMonkey poll shows that 28 percent of all voters will reject the election’s legitimacy if their desired candidate doesn’t win. That jumps to 37 percent among Trump supporters and is 23 percent among Hillary Clinton supporters. The same poll found that an astounding 72 percent of Trump supporters think ‘a lot’ or ‘some’ voter fraud happens in their state. Fewer than half ― 35 percent ― of Clinton supporters say the same…. A new poll from Politico/Morning Consult shows that about half of Trump’s supporters lack confidence that their votes will be counted accurately. Those numbers stand in stark contrast to Hillary Clinton’s supporters, 85 percent of whom are confident their votes will be counted correctly.” [HuffPost]
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TUESDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Pew Research finds partisan divides on how the media should handle controversial statements. [Pew]
-Stuart Rothenberg argues Donald Trump’s path to an electoral college win is “non-existent.” [WashPost]
-John Sides and Eric McGhee doubt Trump will cost Republicans the House. [WashPost]
-Farai Chideya profiles Vietnamese-American voters’ move away from the GOP. 
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