NBC poll: Clinton now holds 11 point national lead over Trump
Posted October 16, 2016 11:28 a.m. EDT
Democrat Hillary Clinton is ahead of Republican Donald Trump by double digits with just more than three weeks until Election Day, making her the clear favorite in the 2016 presidential contest, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street poll conducted entirely after the second presidential debate.
In a four-way horserace, Clinton holds an 11-point lead over Trump among likely voters, 48 percent to 37 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 7 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at 2 percent. In a two-way contest without Johnson and Stein, Clinton is ahead by 10 points, 51 percent to 41 percent.
An earlier NBC/WSJ poll conducted two days after 2005 video surfaced of Trump making vulgar comments to describe kissing and groping women found Clinton leading by double digits among likely voters. But after another day of polling taken immediately after the Oct. 9 debate, the entire Oct. 8-10 poll showed Clinton’s lead at nine points in the four-way contest (46 percent to 37 percent) and 10 points in a head-to-head race (50 percent to 40 percent).
To put Clinton’s current 11-point lead into perspective, Barack Obama beat John McCain by seven points nationally in 2008. And Obama’s margin of victory over Mitt Romney in 2012 was four points. “Donald Trump’s chances of winning this election have faded,” says Democratic pollster Fred Yang of Hart Research Associates, which conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff and his firm Public Opinion Strategies.
“This poll is showing the writing on the wall,” Yang adds. And the Republican McInturff observes that Trump “is in a weaker position than in September,” and that his numbers in the poll don’t align with anyone who has gone on to win a presidential election.
Clinton up by 20 points among women
Looking inside the numbers of the two-way horserace, Clinton holds a 20-point lead among female voters (55 percent to 35 percent), while Trump is ahead among men by just three points (48 percent to 45 percent).
Clinton also has the advantage among African Americans (86 percent to 9 percent), non-white voters (76 percent to 16 percent) and those ages 18-34 (54 percent to 36 percent).
Trump, meanwhile, holds the edge among independents (41 percent to 36 percent) and white voters (51 percent to 40 percent). But there is a difference among whites: Those without college degrees prefer Trump by a 56 percent-to-36 percent margin, while those with college degrees break evenly between Trump and Clinton, 45 percent to 45 percent.
As for the 2005 video of Trump talking about women in vulgar and crude terms, 95 percent of voters say they saw, read or heard about that news story – which is the fourth-most recognized story in the history of the NBC/WSJ poll (behind the Orlando terrorist attack, the spread of Ebola in West Africa and the Ebola patient in Dallas).
But just 32 percent say that the video disqualifies Trump from being president and believe that he should with withdraw from the race, versus 53 percent who disagree.
Did the debates make a difference?
Additionally in the NBC/WSJ poll, 31 percent of voters said the presidential debates made them more likely to back Hillary Clinton, versus 14 percent who said they made them more likely to support Trump. 52 percent said the debates made no difference.
The final presidential debate takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 19. Trump leads (narrowly) on trade, economy; Clinton ahead on being a commander-in-chief and women’s issues
On the issues, more voters say Trump would do a better job protecting America’s interests on trade issues (by 46 percent to 43 percent). And he holds a one-point advantage on dealing with the economy (44 percent say Trump would do a better job, compared with 43 percent who say Clinton would).
But Clinton has the advantage on the other issues – making appointments to the Supreme Court (48 percent to 38 percent), changing the country for the better (44 percent to 36 percent), being a good commander-in-chief (52 percent to 32 percent) and dealing with issues of concern to women (67 percent to 17 percent).
When it comes to personal characteristics, Clinton leads on having the right temperament to be president (59 percent to 23 percent), while Trump narrowly leads on being honest and straightforward (38 percent to 34 percent).
Democrats don’t look as strong down the ballot
Despite Clinton’s double-digit lead over Trump in the presidential race, the NBC/WSJ poll finds a closer contest down the ballot. Forty-six percent of registered voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, while 44 percent want a Republican-controlled Congress.
That two-point advantage for Democrats is down from six points in the earlier NBC/WSJ poll (48 percent to 42 percent). Among likely voters in new poll, 47 percent want a Democratic-controlled Congress and 44 percent want a GOP-controlled one.
By a 53 percent-to-40 percent margin, the poll also finds registered voters saying they’d be more likely to support a Republican candidate who will be a check and balance to Hillary Clinton and congressional Democrats, versus a Democratic candidate who will help Clinton and Democrats pass their agenda.
53 percent approve of Obama’s job as president
Finally, the NBC/WSJ poll finds President Obama’s job-approval rating at 53 percent among registered voters, which is up one point from last month.
It’s the six-straight month where the president’s rating has been above 50 percent in the poll, and it’s his highest rating since Dec. 2012, after he won re-election four years ago.
The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Oct. 10-13 of 1,000 registered voters – via both cell phones and landline phones – and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points. Among the poll’s 905 likely voters, the margin of error is plus-minus 3.3 percentage points.