Clinton tops Trump 49% to 44%
Both candidates appear to have consolidated some support among their core supporters
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 5 points as the presidential campaign heads into its final two weeks, with the Democratic nominee’s support just shy of the 50% mark, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.
Among likely voters, Clinton tops Trump 49% to 44%, with just 3% backing Libertarian Gary Johnson and 2% behind Green Party nominee Jill Stein.
With all three presidential debates now in the rear view mirror, both candidates appear to have consolidated some support among their core supporters. Clinton has expanded her edge among younger voters and non-whites, while Trump has boosted his support among the whites without college degrees who make up the majority of his supporters.
Clinton now stands at 53% among voters under age 45, compared with 47% in the previous CNN/ORC poll. In fact, the only age group where Clinton currently trails Trump is among those age 50-64, who back Trump by 4 points in this poll.
Clinton’s support has also ticked up a few points among non-whites (72% back her now vs. 69% in a poll conducted just after the first debate, not a large enough change to be significant, but edges her margin over Trump among this group above 50 points).
Trump has gained a bit among white voters, edging up to 54% in the new poll from 49% support in the last poll. That gain is centered largely among white non-college voters, who break for Trump by a 62% to 32% margin, while white college grads continue to lean in Clinton’s direction, favoring the former secretary of state by 11 points.
The gender gap remains large, with Clinton holding a wide 12-point lead among women, topping Trump 53% to 41% among that group, while Trump edges Clinton by a narrow 3-points among men, 48% to 45%.
Another notable shift since the last CNN/ORC poll is the steep drop in support for Johnson, who falls from 7% to 3% overall. Support at that level is more in line with the numbers generated by typical third-party candidates who don’t make much of a mark on Election Day itself, well off his flirtation with double-digit support through the summer and early fall.
Taking the third-party candidates out of the mix, Clinton’s margin widens by a point in two-way matchup between the Democrat and the Republican, to 51% to 45%.
Clinton’s supporters are increasingly apt to say that their votes for her are to express support for Clinton rather than opposition to Trump (69% say so now vs. 60% in the last CNN/ORC poll), while Trump’s supporters are holding steady on this metric (59% say their votes are about expressing support for Trump now, exactly the same as in the last CNN/ORC poll).
The most promising finding in the poll for Trump is his continued edge as more trusted to handle the economy. Overall, 51% favor Trump on that vs. 47% who prefer Clinton, a shift in Trump’s favor compared with a 2-point edge for Trump in the last poll. Clinton tops Trump on every other issue tested this way in the poll, including terrorism (Clinton +2), immigration (Clinton +3), nominating justices to the Supreme Court (+5) and foreign policy (+21). But the economy continues to be voters’ top issue, 91% call it extremely or very important.
Despite Trump’s edge on the economy, the businessman trails Clinton on a related issue of empathy, with 49% saying they feel Clinton would “stand up for people like you” compared with 44% who think Trump would be better on that score.
While majorities of both candidates’ supporters agree that the economy is a critical issue in determining their vote for president, there are wide gaps between Trump backers and Clinton supporters on whether several other issues are important.