11/9: Closing the Chapter on 2016

November 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured

The Marist Poll would like to congratulate the hundreds of students who took part in Marist polls over the last eighteen months. Their talent, dedication, and hard work contributed to The Marist Poll’s ability to weave an accurate and informative narrative about campaign 2016.

When so many other polls ran into difficulty measuring this unprecedented contest, The Marist Poll continues to be the gold standard in public opinion research. In fact, the final McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States was spot on!

The McClatchy-Marist Poll predicted a close and competitive contest:
NATIONAL:
Election results: Clinton +.7
Poll: Clinton +1

As Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion noted in that final McClatchy-Marist Poll, “Although Clinton and Trump are separated by the slimmest of margins, the Electoral College can present a very different picture. Close popular votes can, but do not necessarily, translate into tight battles for 270 electoral votes.”

The election was upended with FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress further investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server. And, The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll identified the profound shift in public opinion. The final three NBC News/Wall Street
Journal/Marist Polls showed:
ARIZONA:
Election results: Trump +4
Poll: Trump +5

GEORGIA:
Election results: Trump +5.9
Poll: Trump +1

TEXAS:
Election results: Trump +9
Poll: Trump +9

Once again, The Marist Poll staff and students demonstrated why they are the most energetic and astute polling team in the nation.

Thanks to all who made this possible!

Lee & Barbara

 

11/5: Final Push: Clinton and Trump Close Nationally

Going into this last weekend before Election Day, Democrat Hillary Clinton, 44%, and Republican Donald Trump, 43%, are in a fierce battle among likely voters nationally including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has the support of 6%, and Jill Stein of the Green Party garners 2%.  Three percent support another candidate, and 2% are undecided.

When the McClatchy-Marist Poll last reported this question in September, Clinton was ahead of Trump by 6 points, 45% to 39%, among likely voters nationally.  Johnson had 10%, and Stein received 4%.  One percent, at that time, supported another candidate, and 2% were undecided.

“Although Clinton and Trump are separated by the slimmest of margins, the Electoral College can present a very different picture,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Close popular votes can, but do not necessarily, translate into tight battles for 270 electoral votes.”

Clinton, 50%, leads Trump, 42%, among those who have already voted.  However, Trump edges Clinton, 44% to 40%, among those who have not yet voted. 

“Right now, the campaigns are moving past trying to attract an early vote,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Barring any November surprises, the campaigns now turn to the GOTV effort to maximize turnout among their base supporters.”

Clinton, 89%, and Trump, 92%, retain the support of their party’s faithful.  While Clinton’s support among Democrats is identical to the 89% she received in the previous survey, Trump’s support among Republicans is up from 86%.  Among independents who are likely to vote, Trump, 39%, currently has an advantage over Clinton, 33%.  Johnson receives 13% of independents likely to vote, and 5% are for Stein.  In September, 34% of independents backed Clinton while 32% were for Trump.  One in five independent likely voters, 20%, supported Johnson, and 8% were for Stein.

Trump, 49%, maintains a double-digit lead over Clinton, 37%, among likely voters who are white, similar to the 14-point lead he had in September.  Of note, white voters comprise 71% of the likely electorate in this survey compared with the 72% who turned out in 2012.  Among African Americans who are likely to vote, Clinton, 86%, continues to outdistance Trump, 7%.  However, Clinton’s support among African American likely voters has dipped from 93%.  Among Latinos likely to cast a ballot, Clinton, 49%, has a 15-point lead over Trump, 34%.  Although this represents a significant decline since the previous poll, the sample size in this survey of Latinos who are likely to vote is small, and the margin of error is plus or minus 11 percentage points.

Among white likely voters without a college degree, Trump has a 30-point lead over Clinton, 57% to 27%.  This is similar to his previous 27-point advantage among this voting group last time.  Among white likely voters with a college degree, Clinton, 50%, has a double-digit lead over Trump, 40%.  In September, Clinton and Trump were competitive, 43% to 41%, among this voting bloc.

A gender gap exists, but Clinton’s lead among women has declined.  Clinton, 48%, currently has an 11-point lead over Trump, 37%, among women, down from 23 points earlier in the fall.  Among men likely to vote, 50% support Trump to 38% for Clinton.  Previously, Trump, 47%, was ahead of Clinton, 32%, by 15 points among men. 

Among registered voters, Clinton receives 43% to 42% for Trump.  Seven percent support Johnson, and 2% are for Stein.  Four percent back another candidate, and 3% are undecided.

Looking at the two-way contest between just Clinton and Trump, only 2 points separate Clinton, 46%, and Trump, 44%, among likely voters nationwide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted. Six percent do not support either Clinton or Trump, 2% back another candidate, and 2% are undecided.  Among likely voters with a candidate preference, 66% say they strongly support their candidate.  68% of Clinton’s backers and 69% of Trump’s supporters report they are firmly committed to their selection for president.

Neither Clinton nor Trump is well-liked by the national likely electorate, but Clinton fares slightly better than Trump.  Clinton’s net negative is 17 points, unchanged from the 17-point net negative she received in September.  40% currently have a positive opinion of her while 57% do not.  Trump’s net negative score is 25 points, comparable to the 24-point net negative he previously had.  36% currently have a favorable view of Trump while 61% have an unfavorable one. 

The campaigns of both Clinton and Trump have been plagued by scandalous accusations.  However, likely voters are more inclined to consider Clinton to have done something illegal than Trump.  A majority of likely voters, 51%, report Clinton has done something illegal, including 87% of Republicans and 57% of independents.  32% of likely voters think she has done something unethical but not illegal. 14% of likely voters say she has done nothing wrong, and 3% are unsure.  In contrast, 26% of the likely electorate believe Trump has done something illegal. But, 53% of likely voters say he has done something unethical, including majorities of Republicans, 58%, and independents, 57%.  17% report he has done nothing wrong, and 4% are unsure.

Will these accusations impact voters’ decisions at the polls?  39% say the controversy surrounding Clinton will make a major difference to their vote, including 70% of Republicans.  22% report the scandals will make some difference, and 38% say it will not affect their vote.  66% of Democrats report these allegations will not make any difference to their vote.

On Trump’s side of the equation, 33% of likely voters say the scandalous questions surrounding his candidacy will have a major effect on their vote.  This includes 58% of Democrats but only 8% of Republicans. 22% think it will have some effect on their vote.  45% assert these allegations will not have any impact on their decision, including 70% of Republicans and 41% of independents.

Likely voters perceive the stakes of this election to be sky high.  More than eight in ten likely voters, 81%, think it makes a big difference whether Clinton or Trump is elected.  12% believe it makes some difference, and 5% report it makes no difference at all.  Two percent are unsure.  There has been little change on this question since the McClatchy-Marist Poll last reported it in September.

Do voters think the election is rigged?  A majority of likely voters, 56%, do not believe the election is rigged.  However, about one in three, 33%, perceive the presidential contest to be rigged in Clinton’s favor.  Only 4% say it is rigged in Trump’s favor, and 7% are unsure.  80% of Democrats, compared with 34% of Republicans, do not think the fix is in.  While 60% of Republicans think the election is rigged to benefit Clinton, only 7% of Democrats assert the election is rigged in Trump’s favor.  A majority of independent likely voters, 54%, do not think the election is fixed, but a notable 33% say it is rigged in Clinton’s favor.

There has also been discussion about the possibility of voter intimidation to prevent legitimate voters from participating on Election Day.  And, a majority of likely voters, 56%, think there will be many attempts, 20%, or some attempts, 36%, to obstruct the voting process.  Nearly four in ten, 37%, say there will be few, 12%, or no attempts, 25%, to intimidate voters.  Seven percent are unsure.

Despite who emerges victorious on Election Night, more than three in four likely voters, 77%, think it is important that the losing candidate publicly acknowledge the winner as the legitimate president-elect.  20% do not think a concession is important, and 4% are unsure.  Democrats, 89%, are more likely than Republicans, 66%, to say that it is critical that the losing candidate accept the winner as president-elect.  73% of independents agree.

If the losing candidate chooses to not publicly acknowledge the winner as the legitimate president-elect, 87% of likely voters nationally think the winner can move on as the next president.  Only 8% of likely voters disagree.  There is bipartisan consensus on this question.  90% of Democrats and 83% of Republicans say the winner should begin the transition process even if his or her opponent does not publicly concede the race.  86% of independents also have this opinion.

Turning to the U.S. Congress, 48% of likely voters say they support the Democrat in their district while 47% say they back the Republican.  Three percent do not support either, and 2% are undecided.  When this question was previously reported, likely voters favored the Democratic candidate over the Republican candidate, 49% to 45%.  Two percent, at that time, did not support either candidate, and 3% were undecided.

“Senate and congressional races are contests in their own right, but a generic score like this suggests limited gains for either party in Congress,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Right now, this does not have the makings of a wave election.”

More than six in ten registered voters nationally, 63%, think it is more important for government officials in Washington to compromise to find solutions while 32% say it is more important that they stand on principle even if it means gridlock.  Five percent are unsure.  Democrats, 75%, and independents, 63%, are more likely than Republicans, 51%, to believe compromise outweighs a principled stance on the issues.

Regardless of the specific issue, a majority of registered voters nationally value compromise over gridlock.  However, a deep partisan divide exists.  When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, immigration policy toward Syrian refugees, guns, and Supreme Court appointments, at least seven in ten Democrats say compromise is key.  In contrast, at least a majority of Republicans assert a principled stand must be taken on these issues.  When it comes to immigration from Latin America and tax increases, eight in ten Democrats cite compromise while there is little consensus among Republicans.  Democrats and Republicans both say it is more important to compromise than take a firm position when addressing the minimum wage and trade policy, but Democrats are more likely than Republicans to have this view. 

                             

Turning to President Barack Obama’s job approval rating, 51% of registered voters approve of how the president is performing in office.  44% disapprove, and 4% are unsure.  There has been little change on this question since September when 52% of registered voters approved of how the president was doing his job.  43% disapproved, and 5% were unsure.

Americans remain pessimistic about the direction of the nation.  59% of adults nationally think the country is moving in the wrong direction, including 90% of Republicans and 67% of independents.  33% believe it is moving in the right one, including 60% of Democrats.  Eight percent of Americans are unsure.

 

Complete November 5, 2016 McClatchy-Marist Poll Release of the United States

Complete November 5, 2016 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete November 5, 2016 McClatchy-Marist Poll of the United States (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample

Post-election battles likely as Trump supporters in no mood for compromise

11/4: AZ: Trump Up by 5 Points … GA: Trump and Clinton Competitive … TX: Trump Leads by 9 Points

In Arizona, Republican Donald Trump, 45%, leads Democrat Hillary Clinton, 40%, by 5 points among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Nine percent support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, and 3% are for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.  Two percent support another candidate, and 1% are undecided.

When the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll last reported this question in September, Trump had the support of 40% of likely voters to 38% for Clinton.  12% backed Johnson, and 3% supported Stein.  One percent were for another candidate, and 6%, at that time, were undecided.

In Georgia, Trump, 45%, and Clinton, 44%, are competitive among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Johnson has the support of 8% while 2% support another candidate.  One percent of Georgia likely voters are undecided.  Of note, Stein has write-in status in Georgia.

Previously, Trump, 44%, and Clinton, 42%, were also competitive among likely voters in Georgia.  10% supported Johnson, and 1% backed another candidate.  Three percent, in September, were undecided.

In Texas, Trump receives 49% to Clinton’s 40% among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Johnson garners 6% while Stein has 2%.  Two percent are for another candidate, and 1% are undecided.

“These three states test the significance of the changing demography for the 2016 election,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “What we’re seeing is that, in each case, the races are much closer than the Obama/Romney contest four years ago.  But, with the exception of Georgia, the electoral votes in Texas and, probably, Arizona are likely to land in Trump’s column.”

In Arizona, 86% of Democrats are for Clinton, and 86% of Republicans are for Trump.  While Clinton’s support among Democrats is unchanged from an identical 86% in September, Trump’s support has inched up from 80% among Republicans.  Trump’s support among independents is also on the rise.  40% of Arizona independents who are likely to vote, up from 30% previously, are for Trump.  Clinton receives 33% of independents, unchanged from September.  18% of these voters support Johnson which is little changed from his previous 19%.  Of note, only 1% of independent likely voters are undecided, down from 11%.

Looking at race, 51% of white likely voters in Arizona, up from 45%, support Trump compared with 34% for Clinton.  Clinton’s support is little changed from the 33% she received in the previous NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll.  However, Clinton’s support among Latino likely voters is up, 59% from 49% in mid-September.  Trump’s support, 24%, among Latino likely voters is little changed from 28% in that previous poll.

Trump’s lead among white likely voters without a college degree has grown in Arizona.  He currently leads Clinton among these voters, 60% to 27%, a 33-point advantage.  Previously, Trump was ahead of Clinton by 23 points, 51% to 28%.  Clinton, 43%, and Trump, 41%, are competitive among white likely voters with a college degree.  In the September survey, Clinton and Trump were tied at 39%.

Trump, 47%, also maintains a double-digit lead over Clinton, 37%, among men likely to vote in Arizona.  In the previous survey, Trump was also ahead of Clinton by 10 points.  Trump, 44%, and Clinton, 43%, are competitive among women.  Clinton, 42%, previously had a 5-point edge over Trump, 37%, among these voters. 

In Georgia, most Democrats, 91%, support Clinton while most Republicans, 93%, support Trump.  Among independents who are likely to vote, Trump leads Clinton, 40% to 34%.  While Clinton’s support is unchanged from 34% previously, Trump’s backing has increased from 33%.  Johnson currently receives 20% of independents, down slightly from 25% in September.

Clinton, 89%, continues to outpace Trump, 5%, among African Americans likely to vote in Georgia.  Among white likely voters, Trump, 63%, still outdistances Clinton, 25%, by more than two to one.

A gender gap is also present in Georgia.  Trump, 49%, has a double-digit lead over Clinton, 37%, among men.  Among likely voters who are women, 50% support Clinton while 42% are for Trump.

Looking at race and education in Georgia, Trump, 73%, is out in front of Clinton, 17%, among white likely voters without a college education.  Among those with a college degree, Trump, 53%, also has the advantage over Clinton, 34%.

Unless otherwise specified, there has been little change since the previous poll among the demographic subgroups highlighted above in the Georgia survey results.

In Texas, Clinton, 93%, and Trump, 91%, carry their respective party’s base.  Among independents likely to vote, Clinton receives 42% to 34% for Trump.  15% of independents back Johnson while Stein has 4%.

Looking at the racial breakdown in Texas, Trump, 68%, leads Clinton, 20%, by more than three to one among white likely voters.  Among African Americans who are likely to cast a ballot, Clinton has 88% to just 6% for Trump.  Among Latino likely voters, about two-thirds, 66%, are for Clinton while 24% support Trump.

When education and race are considered in Texas, Trump leads Clinton among white likely voters regardless of whether or not they have a college education.  Among those without a college degree, Trump, 72%, outpaces Clinton, 17%.  Trump, 64%, also outdistances Clinton, 23%, among white likely voters with a college degree.  Trump, 53%, also has the advantage over Clinton, 32%, among men who are likely to vote.  Clinton, 46%, and Trump, 45%, are competitive among women.  

Among registered voters in Arizona, Trump has 44% to 39% for Clinton.  10% support Johnson, and 4% are for Stein.  Two percent back another candidate, and 1% are undecided.

In Georgia, 44% of registered voters statewide support Trump, and 43% are for Clinton.  Johnson receives the backing of 10%.  Two percent are for another candidate, and 1% are undecided.

Among registered voters in Texas, 45% support Trump while 41% are for Clinton.  Johnson garners 7%, and 3% are for Stein.  Three percent of registered voters are for another candidate, and 2% are undecided.

Turning to the two-way contest between just Clinton and Trump in Arizona, Trump leads Clinton, 46% to 41%, among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Six percent do not support either candidate, and 6% back someone else.  Two percent are undecided.  Among likely voters with a candidate preference, 62% strongly support their choice of candidate.  62% of Trump’s backers, compared with 63% of Clinton’s supporters, say they are firmly committed to their presidential selection.

In the head-to-head contest in Georgia, Trump, 47%, and Clinton, 46%, are competitive among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Three percent do not support either Trump or Clinton, and 3% back another candidate.  One percent are undecided.  Among likely voters with a candidate preference in Georgia, 67% say they strongly support their selection for president.  70% of Trump’s supporters and 65% of Clinton’s backers say they will not change their minds before Election Day.

In the two-way competition between Clinton and Trump in Texas, Trump has 49% to 41% for Clinton among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Four percent do not support either candidate, and 4% back someone else.  Two percent are undecided.  63% of likely voters with a candidate preference in Texas say they strongly support their candidate selection for U.S. President.  67% of Trump’s supporters, compared with 57% of Clinton’s backers, say they will not waver in their commitment to their choice of candidate.

In all three states, Clinton and Trump have upside down favorable ratings with high net negative scores.  In Arizona, Clinton has a favorable rating of 37% and an unfavorable score of 61% among likely voters statewide, a net negative of 24 points.  This is comparable to the 27-point net negative score Clinton garnered in September.  Trump’s favorable rating is 34% among likely voters in Arizona, and his unfavorable score is 59%, a net negative of 25 points.  This is relatively unchanged from 23 points previously.

In Georgia, Clinton has a net negative score of 20 points, comparable to 21 points in September.  38% of likely voters in Georgia currently have a favorable opinion of Clinton while 58% have an unfavorable one.  Trump’s net negative in the state is 22 points, an increase from 15 points previously.  37% of Georgia likely voters currently have a positive impression of Trump while 59% do not.

In Texas, Clinton’s net negative score among likely voters is 30 points.  33% of likely voters in Texas have a favorable opinion of Clinton while 63% have an unfavorable one.  Trump fares a little better in the Lone Star State.  Trump’s net negative is 18 points.  He receives a favorable score of 38% among likely voters in Texas while his unfavorable rating is 56%.

“Not only are their ratings upside down, but neither Clinton nor Trump reaches 40% in their favorable ratings in each of these three states,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.” 

In the race for U.S. Senate in Arizona, Republican incumbent John McCain, 55%, leads his Democratic challenger Ann Kirkpatrick, 39%, by 16 points among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Five percent support another candidate, and 2% are undecided.  McCain, 57%, had a similar 19-point lead over Kirkpatrick, 38%, among likely voters in the previous NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Arizona.  47% of likely voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate in Arizona say they strongly support their choice of candidate.  49% of McCain’s supporters, compared with 45% of Kirkpatrick’s backers, report they will not change their minds prior to Election Day.

In the Georgia Senate race, 48% of likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted support Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson.  Democrat Jim Barksdale has the backing of 37% of likely voters, and Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley garners 7%.  Three percent support another candidate, and 5% are undecided.  53% of likely voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate in Georgia say they are firmly committed to their choice of candidate.  58% of Isakson’s backers and 52% of Barksdale’s supporters report they are strongly committed to their choice of candidate.

Looking at the favorable score of prominent, sitting U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Cruz’s favorable rating is upside down.  41% of likely voters say they have a positive opinion of Cruz while 46% have a negative one.  12% have either never heard of Cruz or are unsure how to rate him.

How does President Barack Obama’s job performance fare in Arizona, Georgia, and Texas?  Arizona residents divide.  47% of adults statewide approve of how the president is doing his job while 45% of residents disapprove.  Eight percent are unsure.  In September, 48% thought well of the president’s job performance while 44% did not.  Seven percent, at that time, were unsure.  Of note, the president’s approval rating is upside down among likely voters in Arizona.  45% approve of how he is doing his job while 50% disapprove.

“Obama’s approval rating is stronger than Clinton’s support in each of these three states,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

In Georgia, 50% of residents, including 48% of likely voters, approve of how President Obama is performing in office.  43% of adults statewide disapprove, and 7% are unsure.  Previously, Georgia residents divided.  47% approved of the president’s job performance, and 45% disapproved.  Eight percent, at the time, were unsure.

In Texas, 49% of residents approve of how President Obama is doing his job.  44% disapprove, and 7% are unsure.  Of note, the president’s approval rating in Texas is upside down, 43% to 51%, among the likely statewide electorate.

Complete November 4, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of Arizona, Georgia, and Texas

Complete November 4, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Arizona (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete November 4, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Arizona (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete November 4, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Georgia (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete November 4, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Georgia (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete November 4, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Texas (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete November 4, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Texas (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology for Arizona

Nature of the Sample for Arizona

Marist Poll Methodology for Georgia

Nature of the Sample for Georgia

Marist Poll Methodology for Texas

Nature of the Sample for Texas

11/2: Passing the Baton

November 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, Lee Miringoff

My class this semester on “The Presidential Campaign of 2016” at Marist College is a group of talented and enthusiastic undergraduates bringing their fresh perspective to voting, this unprecedented presidential election, and the state of American democracy.  It warms the political scientist side of my heart to interact with this current, idealistic, imaginative, and global-reaching generation of students which is about to inherit a messy and cynical world.

But, the pollster in me knows that voters throughout the United States are frustrated by the gridlock in government and discouraged by a presidential campaign that has sunk to the lowest common denominator.  Regardless of whether Trump or Clinton wins the White House, they will be the most unpopular president to take office that we have ever had.

This year’s story began with the primaries during which each party had to deal with a strong anti-establishment candidate.  It is said that Republicans typically fall in line and Democrats fall in love.  Well, in 2016, the GOP has been slow to fall in line behind Donald Trump, and the candidate with whom Democrats fell in love is not their nominee.  So, voters in both parties have had to drop down on their wish list, and for many it has been a tough pill to swallow.

To make matters even more difficult for voters in 2016, there are ongoing issues of corruption and money swirling around the Clinton candidacy. And, among many other concerns, the GOP candidate claims the election is rigged, and he may not accept the results of the people’s vote on Election Day unless he wins.  The boundaries of political dialogue have certainly been stretched this year.

Elections are supposed to be about issues, policies, and a mandate to move government forward.  Who would seriously argue that this campaign has been remotely issue focused?   Who would legitimately claim that the winner can make a strong case for moving the country in a specific policy direction?  Will there be enough of a kick from voters so that Washington moves away from the gridlock that has increasingly characterized our politics?

I became a political scientist and public opinion pollster because of my faith in public opinion, and a belief voiced many decades ago by V.O. Key that voters make the right decision if presented with accurate information.  During my lifetime (starting with my high school years during the tragedies of 1968 and my first vote for president as a college student in 1972), much of what makes the American experiment unique in the history of civilization has eroded. This time, so much more is being threatened.

It is not only government and elections that are under the microscope.  The institutions of religion, education, corporate business, the media, and others are taking their lumps, as well.

In class, I am eager to reference Abraham Lincoln’s comment that public opinion is the only legitimate sovereign in a democracy.  I hope the millennial generation pushes us baby boomers aside and works to restore the element to our democracy with which we have seemed to have lost touch.  It’s really the only path to a better future.

Lee M. Miringoff is Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion and is a faculty member of the Political Science Department at Marist College.

10/30: Florida: Trump and Clinton Competitive … North Carolina: Clinton Leads by 6 Points

In Florida, Democrat Hillary Clinton, 45%, and Republican Donald Trump, 44%, are in a fierce battle among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson receives 5% while Green Party candidate Jill Stein has 2%.  Three percent of Florida likely voters support another candidate, and 2% are undecided.

In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Florida released earlier this month, Clinton had 45% to 42% for Trump.  Five percent of Florida likely voters supported Johnson while 3% were for Stein.  One percent were for another candidate, and 4% were undecided.

In North Carolina, Clinton receives 47% to 41% for Trump among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Johnson has the support of 8%, 2% back another candidate, and 2% are undecided.  Of note, in North Carolina, Jill Stein of the Green Party has write-in status.

In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of the Tar Heel State released earlier this month, Clinton had 45% to 41% for Trump among likely voters statewide.  Nine percent backed Johnson, and 2% supported another candidate.  Three percent, at the time, were undecided.

“For Trump, Florida is a must-win state, and right now, it could go either way,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Strategically, the Clinton camp has been banking on North Carolina as a crucial state in its firewall to reach 270, and she seems well-positioned to carry the state.”

In Florida, Clinton, 89%, and Trump, 88%, maintain the support of their respective party’s base.  Among independents who are likely to vote, Trump leads Clinton by 5 points, 41% to 36%.  Johnson has 11% while Stein garners 3%.  The tide has turned among independent likely voters.  Clinton previously had a 9-point advantage over Trump, 42% to 33%.  13% supported Johnson, at that time, and 7% were for Stein. 

Trump retains his double-digit lead over Clinton among white likely voters in Florida, 54% to 34%.  Previously, Trump outpaced Clinton by a similar 19 points among these voters.  Among African Americans likely to cast a ballot, 92%, up from 83% previously, support Clinton.  Trump receives only 2% of the African American vote in Florida.  Clinton, 56%, leads Trump, 34%, by 22 points among Latinos likely to vote, but Clinton’s advantage is down from 36 points previously.

Looking at race and education, Trump, 62%, continues to outpace Clinton, 26%, among white likely voters without a college education in Florida.  His current 36-point lead is little changed from the 33-point advantage he had earlier this month.  Among white likely voters with a college education, Trump and Clinton are competitive, 45% to 43%.  Trump previously edged Clinton by 5 points among these voters.

A gender gap remains in Florida.  Clinton, 51%, is ahead of Trump, 42%, by 9 points among women who are likely to vote while Trump, 48%, leads Clinton, 37%, by 11 points among men likely to cast a ballot.  In early October, Clinton was ahead of Trump by 13 points among women while Trump had a 9-point lead over Clinton among men.

Among many key demographic groups, North Carolina mirrors Florida.  Like Florida, Clinton garners the support of most Democrats, 92%, while Trump has the backing of most Republicans, 89%.  However, among independents likely to vote, Clinton, 41%, has opened up a lead over Trump, 35%.  Johnson receives 19%.  Previously, Clinton and Trump were tied at 36% among independents likely to vote.  Johnson had 20% at the time of the previous NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of North Carolina.

Among white likely voters in North Carolina, Trump, 53%, outdistances Clinton, 33%, by 20 points, similar to his lead earlier this month.  Clinton, 95%, carries most African Americans who are likely to vote, an increase from 83% previously.  Trump and Johnson have the support of only 2% each of African Americans likely to vote, a dip from earlier this month.

Among white likely voters without a college education, Trump, 65%, outpaces Clinton, 22%, by nearly three to one in North Carolina.  Trump’s 43-point advantage among these voters has increased from 38 points in mid-October.  Clinton, 48%, now has a double-digit lead over Trump, 38%, among white likely voters with a college education.  This is up from her 4-point edge earlier this month.

Looking at the gender breakdown in North Carolina, Clinton is ahead of Trump, 52% to 38%, by 14 points among women, the identical lead she previously received.  However, Trump’s lead among men likely to vote is down.  Trump, 44%, and Clinton, 42%, are now competitive among men.  Trump previously held a 7-point lead over Clinton among this group of voters.

Among registered voters in Florida, Clinton, 44%, and Trump, 42%, are closely matched.  Johnson has 5% while Stein receives 2%.  Three percent support another candidate, and 3% are undecided.

In North Carolina, Clinton, 46%, maintains her 6-point lead over Trump, 40%, among registered voters statewide.  Nine percent support Johnson, and 2% back another candidate.  Three percent are undecided.

Looking at the two-way matchup in Florida, Clinton and Trump are tied at 46% among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Four percent do not support either candidate, and 3% are for someone else.  One percent are undecided.  Among Florida likely voters with a candidate preference, seven in ten, 70%, say they strongly support their choice of candidate for president.  74% of Trump’s supporters, compared with 67% of Clinton’s backers, say they will not waver in their commitment to their candidate selection.

In the head-to-head contest between Clinton and Trump in North Carolina, 50% of likely voters support Clinton while 44% back Trump.  Three percent do not support either candidate, 2% are for someone else, and 2% are undecided.  Among North Carolina likely voters with a candidate preference, 69% say they strongly back their choice of candidate for president.  70% of Trump’s supporters and 68% of Clinton’s backers report they will not waver in their commitment to their presidential candidate of choice.

Clinton and Trump have high net negative ratings in Florida and North Carolina.  In Florida, 39% of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton while 58% have an unfavorable one, a net negative of 19 points.  Earlier this month, Clinton’s net negative score was 16 points in the Sunshine State.

Trump currently has the same net negative rating, 19 points, as Clinton in Florida.  38% of likely voters have a positive opinion of Trump while 57% have a negative one.  His previous net negative score in the state was 17 points.

In North Carolina, Clinton has a net negative rating of 14 points, identical to what she received previously.  41% of North Carolina likely voters currently have a positive view of Clinton while 55% do not.  Trump’s net negative in North Carolina is also unchanged and stands at 25 points.  35% have a favorable view of him while 60% have an unfavorable one.  

Turning to the Senate race in Florida, incumbent Republican Senator Marco Rubio, 51%, now has an 8-point lead over Democrat Patrick Murphy, 43%, among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Four percent support another candidate, and 2% are undecided.  In the previous NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Florida, Rubio, 48%, and Murphy, 46%, were competitive.  Two percent supported another candidate, and 4% were undecided.  

52% of likely voters with a candidate preference for the U.S. Senate in Florida say they strongly support their choice of candidate, little changed from 54% just a few weeks ago.  Among Rubio’s supporters, 53% report they are firmly committed to him while 51% of Murphy’s backers say they will not waver in their support for their selection of candidate.  These proportions are little changed from the previous poll.

“Marco Rubio is running 7 points ahead of Donald Trump in Florida and has established himself as a front-runner to keep his seat in the Senate,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

In the race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, Republican incumbent Richard Burr and Democrat Deborah Ross are tied at 48% among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Two percent are for another candidate, and 3% are undecided.  In the previous NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll in the state, Burr and Ross were tied at 46% among likely voters.

55% of likely voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, similar to 57% previously, report they are strongly committed to their choice of candidate.  54% of Ross’ backers, down from 59%, are firmly committed to her.  56% of Burr’s backers, similar to 54% earlier in the month, expressed the same intensity of support.

“Like Rubio in Florida, Burr also outpaces Trump by 7 points in North Carolina,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “But, given Clinton’s stronger showing in North Carolina, it still remains to be seen whether he can hold onto his Senate seat.”

Turning to the contest for governor in North Carolina, Democrat Roy Cooper, 51%, now leads Republican incumbent Pat McCrory, 45%, by 6 points among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Two percent are for another candidate, and 2% are undecided.  Earlier this month, the race between Cooper, 49%, and McCrory, 48%, was competitive.

Nearly three in four North Carolina likely voters with a candidate preference, 73%, strongly support their choice of candidate for governor.  This is a marked increase from the 57% who previously expressed this intensity of support.  73% of McCrory’s supporters, up from 54%, and 72% of Cooper’s backers, up from 59%, say they are firmly committed to their choice of candidate for governor.

48% of Florida residents approve of the job performance of President Barack Obama.  44% disapprove, and 8% are unsure.  These proportions are little changed from earlier in October when 49% approved of how the president was doing his job, and 43% disapproved.  Seven percent, then, were unsure.  Florida likely voters currently divide with 47% reporting they approve of how the president is performing and 48% saying they disapprove.  Five percent are unsure.     

President Obama’s approval rating among North Carolina adults stands at 48%.  43% of residents in North Carolina disapprove of how the president is doing his job, and 9% are unsure.  Earlier this month, 50% of North Carolina adults thought well of how the president was performing in office while 44% did not.  Among likely voters, 50% approve of the president’s job performance while 45% disapprove.  Five percent are unsure.

Complete October 30, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of Florida and North Carolina

Complete October 30, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Florida (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete October 30, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Florida (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete October 30, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of North Carolina (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete October 30, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of North Carolina (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology for Florida

Nature of the Sample for Florida

Marist Poll Methodology for North Carolina

Nature of the Sample for North Carolina

10/27: Nevada: Clinton and Trump Tied … New Hampshire: Clinton Opens up Lead

With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are tied at 43% among Nevada likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  In this multi-candidate field, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson receives 10%.  Three percent support another candidate, and 2% are undecided.

When the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll last reported this question in September, Trump, 42%, and Clinton, 41%, were also closely matched among likely voters statewide.  Johnson had the support of 8% to 3% for Stein.  One percent, at that time, supported another candidate, and 4% were undecided.  Of note, Green Party candidate Jill Stein does not appear on the ballot in Nevada, a decision made after the September NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of the state.

In New Hampshire, Clinton, 45%, has a 9-point advantage over Trump, 36%, among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  10% support Johnson while 4% are for Stein.  Two percent back another candidate, and 3% are undecided.

Clinton has gained traction in New Hampshire.  In September’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll, Clinton, 39%, and Trump, 37%, were competitive among likely voters.  15% backed Johnson, and 3% were for Stein.  One percent supported another candidate, and 5% were undecided.

“In Las Vegas terms, the contest for Nevada’s six electoral votes is a ‘push’ right now,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Odds are that Clinton can bank on New Hampshire’s four electoral votes.”

In Nevada, Clinton carries her Democratic base while Trump caries his Republican one.  Nearly nine in ten Democratic likely voters, 87%, are for Clinton while the identical proportion of Republican likely voters, 87%, are for Trump.  Among independents likely to cast a ballot, 39% support Trump while 33% back Clinton.  Nearly one in five, 19%, are for Johnson.

Clinton, 49%, continues to outperform Trump, 37%, by double digits among Nevada women likely to vote.  Last month, Clinton had a 15-point advantage among these voters.  However, Trump, 49%, maintains his double-digit lead over Clinton, 35%, among men.  Trump outpaced Clinton by 17 points previously among men likely to cast a ballot.

Looking at race and education in Nevada, Trump, 53%, is ahead of Clinton, 34%, by 19 points among white likely voters without a college education.  This is similar to the 20-point advantage he had in September.  Among white likely voters with a college education, Trump and Clinton are competitive, 42% to 41%.  In the previous NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll, Trump was ahead of Clinton by 6 points among white likely voters with a college education.

In New Hampshire, Trump’s support among his Republican base, 76%, is weaker than Clinton’s support among her party’s faithful, 91%.  Seven percent of Republican likely voters support Clinton, and a notable 10% are for Johnson.  In contrast, only 2% of Democratic likely voters are for Trump, and 3% back Johnson.  Among likely voters in New Hampshire who are independents, Clinton has 39% to 32% for Trump.  15% of independent likely voters support Gary Johnson, and 6% support Stein.

Clinton has widened her lead over Trump among women likely to vote in New Hampshire from 14 points to 25 points now.  54% of women support Clinton to 29% for Trump.  Among men likely to vote, Trump, 44%, is up 8 points over Clinton, 36%.  However, Trump’s lead among New Hampshire men has declined from 12 points in September when he received 42% to 30% for Clinton.

Among white likely voters in New Hampshire without a college education, Trump and Clinton are competitive, 43% for Trump to 40% for Clinton.  Trump’s support among these voters has hemorrhaged since last month when he outdistanced Clinton by 18 points.  Among white likely voters with a college education, Clinton maintains her support in New Hampshire where she outpaces Trump by 19 points, 49% to 30%.  This is comparable to the 20-point lead she had in the September NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll.

Among registered voters in Nevada, Clinton, 43%, and Trump, 41%, are competitive.  Johnson has the support of 11%.  Three percent support another candidate, and 3% are undecided.

In New Hampshire, Clinton, 44%, leads Trump, 35%, by 9 points among registered voters statewide.  Johnson receives 11% while Stein garners 4%.  Three percent support someone else, and 4% of registered voters in New Hampshire are undecided.

In the two-way matchup between just Clinton and Trump in Nevada, Clinton and Trump each have 45% of the likely vote.  Eight percent do not support either candidate, 1% are for another candidate, and 1% are undecided.

Among likely voters in Nevada with a candidate preference, 72% strongly support their choice of candidate.  This is little changed from the proportion of likely voters, 70%, who expressed this level of commitment to their choice of candidate previously.  Among likely voters who support Clinton, 71% say they are firmly committed to her, comparable to the 70% of Clinton’s supporters who had this view last month.  Among Trump’s backers, 73% say they will not change their minds before Election Day.  This is relatively unchanged from 71% last month.

In the head-to-head contest in New Hampshire, Clinton leads Trump, 47% to 39%, among likely voters statewide.  Nine percent do not support either Clinton or Trump, and 3% are for another candidate.  Two percent are undecided.  68% of likely voters with a candidate preference, similar to 65% in September, say they are firmly committed to their choice of candidate for president.  Among Clinton’s backers, 68% say they strongly support their candidate selection, the identical proportion who expressed this level of support previously.  70% of Trump’s supporters, up from 62% last month, say they will not waver in their support for Trump.

Clinton and Trump have high negative ratings in Nevada and New Hampshire.  In Nevada, 40% of likely voters statewide have a favorable impression of Clinton while 55% have an unfavorable one, a net negative of 15 points.  Clinton’s net negative is unchanged from 15 points in September.  Looking at Trump’s favorability in Nevada, 38% of likely voters have a positive opinion of Trump, and 58% have a negative impression of him.  Trump’s net negative in the state is 20 points, comparable to 18 points previously.

In New Hampshire, Clinton’s favorable score is 42% among likely voters while her unfavorable rating is 55%.  Clinton’s net negative in New Hampshire is 13 points, an improvement from 21 points.  Trump fares worse in the Granite State.  29% of likely voters report they have a favorable opinion of Trump, and 68% say they have an unfavorable one.  Trump’s net negative score is 39 points, up from the 25-point net negative he received previously.

Looking at the down-ballot races, Republican Joe Heck, 49%, leads Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, 42%, in the race for U.S. Senate in Nevada among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Four percent are for another candidate, and 5% are undecided.  In September, Heck, 47%, and Cortez Masto, 45%, were competitive.  55% of likely voters with a candidate preference, little changed from September, strongly support their choice of candidate for U.S. Senate.

“One key observation in the U.S. Senate race in Nevada is that Heck outperforms Trump among key groups in the state.  Heck does better than Trump among Democrats, independents, and Latinos,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “In contrast, Cortez Masto does not outperform Clinton in Nevada.”

In the New Hampshire contest for Senate, Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte, 48%, and Democrat Maggie Hassan, 47%, are locked in a tight battle among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Two percent support someone else, and 2% are undecided.  Last month, Ayotte, 52%, was ahead of Hassan, 44%, among likely voters statewide.

65% of likely voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire strongly support their choice of candidate, similar to the 64% who said they were firmly committed to their selection in September.  The proportion of Hassan’s supporters, 69%, who say they are strongly committed to their choice of candidate is greater than the proportion of Ayotte’s backers, 61%, who express a similar level of support for their candidate.  These proportions are little changed from last month.

“Expect the New Hampshire Senate race to attract a lot of attention as both parties vie for a hotly contested seat,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Right now, Ayotte is competitive because she has established separation from Trump and is outpacing him by 12 points.”

In the race for governor in New Hampshire, Democrat Colin Van Ostern, 47%, and Republican Chris Sununu, 46%, are closely matched among the statewide likely electorate.  Two percent support another candidate, and 4% are undecided.  Among likely voters with a candidate preference for governor, half, 50%, say they strongly support their choice of candidate.  53% of Van Ostern’s backers, compared with 48% of Sununu’s supporters, report a firm level of commitment to their choice of candidate for governor.

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has improved in Nevada and New Hampshire.  50% of Nevada adults approve of the job President Obama is doing in office while 42% disapprove.  Eight percent are unsure.  In September, 47% thought highly of how President Obama was doing his job while 43% did not.  10%, at the time, were unsure.  Likely voters in Nevada currently divide, 48% to 46%, about how the president is performing his job.

In New Hampshire, a majority of residents statewide, 53%, including 52% of likely voters, approve of how the president is performing in his post.  43% disapprove, and 5% are unsure.  Previously, New Hampshire adults divided.  47% approved of the president’s job performance, 46% did not, and 7% were unsure.

Complete October 26, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of Nevada and New Hampshire

Complete October 26, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Nevada (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete October 26, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Nevada (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete October 26, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of New Hampshire (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete October 26, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of New Hampshire (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology for Nevada

Nature of the Sample for Nevada

Marist Poll Methodology for New Hampshire

Nature of the Sample for New Hampshire

10/14: NC: Clinton Edges Trump… OH: Clinton and Trump Competitive

In North Carolina, Democrat Hillary Clinton, 45%, has a 4-point edge over Republican Donald Trump, 41%, among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Libertarian Gary Johnson has the support of 9%.  Two percent support someone else, and 3% are undecided.  Of note, in North Carolina, Jill Stein of the Green Party has write-in status.

In Ohio, Trump receives the support of 42% while Clinton has 41% among the state’s likely electorate including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Johnson garners the backing of 9% while the Green Party’s Jill Stein has 4%.  One percent of likely voters are for another candidate, and 3% are undecided.

“When you talk about 2016 breaking all the rules, look no further than Ohio and North Carolina,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Obama carried the Buckeye State twice, but now it could go either way.  Although the Tar Heel State cast its 15 electoral votes for Mitt Romney in 2012, it could be the dealmaker for the Clinton campaign this time.”

In North Carolina, Clinton has the support of almost nine in ten Democrats who are likely to vote, 89%, while Trump has the backing of more than eight in ten Republicans, 86%.  Among independents likely to cast a ballot, Clinton and Trump each receive 36%.  Johnson garners a notable 20% of independents in North Carolina.

Support differs based on race.  Clinton, 83%, overwhelmingly carries likely voters who are African American.  Trump receives only 4% of the African American vote.  Trump, 53%, receives majority support among likely voters who are white while Clinton has 34%.  Among white likely voters with a college education, Clinton, 45%, and Trump, 41%, are competitive.  However, Trump, 63%, outpaces Clinton, 25%, by more than two to one among white likely voters without a college degree.

A gender gap is present.  Clinton, 51%, is ahead of Trump, 37%, among North Carolina likely voters who are women.  Trump, 45%, leads Clinton, 38%, among likely voters who are men.

Clinton, 47%, surpasses Trump, 24%, among likely voters in North Carolina who are under 30.  Of note, 24% rally for Johnson.

In Ohio, Clinton and Trump protect their respective party bases.  86% of Democrats support Clinton while 82% of Republicans back Trump.  Among independents likely to cast a ballot, Trump has 39% to 32% for Clinton.  18% of independents support Johnson.

Again, African American likely voters, by far, support Clinton, 83%, over Trump, 4%, but Trump, 48%, has a double-digit lead over Clinton, 35%, among likely voters who are white.  Among white likely voters with a college education, Clinton receives 47% to 40% for  Trump.  Trump, 53%, bests Clinton, 27%, among white likely voters who do not have a college degree.

Looking at gender, Clinton, 47%, leads Trump, 36%, among women who are likely to cast a ballot while Trump, 49%, is ahead of Clinton, 34%, among likely voters who are men.

Clinton leads among Ohio likely voters under 30 by only 10 points: 38% for Clinton to 28% for Trump.  One in four likely voters under 30, 25%, support Johnson.

Among registered voters in North Carolina, 45% are for Clinton while 39% are for Trump, and 10% are for Johnson.  Two percent support another candidate, and 4% are undecided.  In Ohio, among registered voters, Clinton and Trump are tied at 40%.  Johnson garners 10% while Stein has 4%.  Two percent back someone else, and 3% are undecided.

In the two-way contest between only Clinton and Trump, 48% of likely voters in North Carolina including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted support Clinton while 43% are for Trump.  Five percent do not support either candidate, and 1% back someone else.   Three percent are undecided.

Looking at intensity of support, 71% of likely voters with a candidate preference in North Carolina strongly support their choice of candidate for president.  70% of those who support Clinton, compared with 73% who are for Trump, say they are firmly committed to their selection.

In the head-to-head matchup in Ohio, Trump and Clinton both receive 45% among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Seven percent do not back either candidate, and 1% are for someone else.  Three percent are undecided.

70% of likely voters with a candidate preference in Ohio say they strongly back their presidential candidate.  69% of likely voters who are for Clinton are firmly committed to her.  A similar proportion of Trump’s backers, 71%, say they will not waver in their commitment to him.

Clinton and Trump are not highly regarded in either North Carolina or Ohio.  Among likely voters in North Carolina, 42% have a favorable opinion of Clinton while 56% have an unfavorable view of her, a net negative of 14 points.  Trump’s net negative score is even higher at 25 points.  35% of likely voters in North Carolina have a positive view of Trump while 60% have a negative one.

A similar scenario plays out in Ohio.  Clinton receives a net negative rating of 22 points among likely voters statewide.  37% have a favorable attitude toward Clinton while 59% have an unfavorable opinion of her.  With 35% of likely voters in Ohio reporting they have a favorable opinion of Trump and 61% saying they have an unfavorable one, Trump’s net negative is 26 points.

Turning to the U.S. Senate in North Carolina, Republican incumbent Richard Burr and his Democratic challenger Deborah Ross are tied at 46% among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Two percent are for another candidate, and 6% are undecided.  Among likely voters with a candidate preference, 57% say they strongly support their choice for U.S. Senate.  54% of Burr’s supporters, compared with 59% of Ross’ backers, report they are firmly committed to their candidate for U.S. Senate.

In Ohio, Republican incumbent Rob Portman, 55%, has a double-digit lead over Democrat Ted Strickland, 37%, among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Three percent are for someone else, and 5% are undecided.  53% of Ohio likely voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate say they strongly support their choice of candidate.  Among Portman’s backers, 57% strongly support him.  48% of likely voters behind Strickland express a similar intensity of support.

“The Democrats once hoped that Portman would be vulnerable, but he is well on his way to winning re-election,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “But, North Carolina, surprisingly, is the state with the Senate race that could go either way.”

Where does the contest for North Carolina governor stand?  Roy Cooper, the Democratic challenger, is closely matched with sitting Republican Governor Pat McCrory, 49% to 48%, among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  One percent support another candidate, and 3% are undecided.  Among likely voters with a candidate preference, 57% report they are firmly behind their choice of candidate for North Carolina governor.  59% of Cooper’s backers say they are strongly behind their candidate.  This compares with 54% of McCrory’s supporters who express the same.

50% of North Carolina adults, including 48% of likely voters, approve of the job performance of President Barack Obama.  44% disapprove, including 46% of likely voters, and 6% of residents are unsure.  In Ohio, residents divide.  46% approve of the president’s performance in office and the same proportion disapprove.  Eight percent are unsure.  Among likely voters, 45% have a positive view of Obama, and 49% disapprove.

Complete October 14, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of North Carolina and Ohio

Complete October 14, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of North Carolina (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete October 14, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of North Carolina (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Complete October 14, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Ohio (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete October 14, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Ohio (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology for North Carolina

Nature of the Sample for North Carolina

Marist Poll Methodology for Ohio

Nature of the Sample for Ohio

10/9: Florida: Clinton and Trump Competitive

In a poll completed before Hurricane Matthew affected Florida, just 3 points separate Democrat Hillary Clinton, 45%, and Republican Donald Trump, 42%, among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have already voted.  Support for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, 5%, or for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, 3%, is in single digits.  One percent support someone else, and 4% are undecided.

“Florida has voted for the winner in 12 of the last 13 presidential elections dating back to 1964,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “In terms of pathways to 270, it’s hard to see how Trump can win the White House without carrying this state.”

Support among many demographic groups in Florida mirrors patterns seen in other battleground states.  Clinton has secured the support of her Democratic base, 89%, while Trump is on firm footing with the Republican faithful, 86%.  Among likely voters who are independents, Clinton, 42%, leads Trump, 33%, by 9 points.  Johnson, 13%, garners a notable proportion of independent voters, and Stein receives 7%.

Clinton’s support is bolstered by likely voters in Florida who are African American, 83%, or Latino, 61%.  Among African Americans who are likely to vote, Trump’s support, 6%, is in single digits.  Among Latinos he trails Clinton by 36 points and receives only 25% of the vote among this group.  Among likely voters who are white, Trump has majority support, 54%, and is ahead of Clinton, 35%, by 19 points.

Education also plays a role.  Trump, 61%, outpaces Clinton, 28%, by more than two to one among white likely voters without a college education.  However, the contest is closer among likely voters who are white and have a college degree, 47% for Trump to 42% for Clinton.

Looking at gender, Clinton, 51%, leads Trump, 38%, among likely voters who are women.  Among men who are likely to cast a ballot, Trump, 47%, is ahead of Clinton, 38%.

Age differences also exist.  Clinton, 54%, bests Trump, 30%, among likely voters who are under the age of 45.  Among those 45 and older, Trump, 49%, leads Clinton, 40%.

Among registered voters in this multi-candidate field, Clinton receives the support of 45% to 39% for Trump.  Johnson garners 6% and Stein has 3%.  Two percent mention someone else, and 4% are undecided.

In a head-to-head two-way matchup just between Clinton and Trump, the two are also in a close contest, 46% to 44%, among likely voters.  Six percent say they do not support either candidate, and 1% report they support someone else.  Three percent are undecided.

74% of likely voters with a candidate preference in the two-way contest say they strongly support their choice of candidate for president.  73% of Clinton’s supporters, compared with a similar 75% of Trump’s backers, express a firm level of commitment to their candidate selection.

Like elsewhere, Clinton and Trump are not well-liked in Florida.  Clinton’s net negative rating is 16 points.  40% of likely voters in Florida have a favorable opinion of her while 56% have an unfavorable one.  Trump experiences a similar reality.  With a favorable score of 39% and an unfavorable rating of 56%, Trump’s net negative is 17 points.

Turning to the election for U.S. Senate in Florida, Republican incumbent Marco Rubio, 48%, is in a competitive contest against his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, 46%.  Two percent support someone else, and 4% are undecided.  54% of likely voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate report they firmly support their choice of candidate.  56% of Rubio’s backers, compared with 52% of Murphy’s backers, say they are strongly committed to their candidate choice.

“In the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, Florida is one of the key contests to watch,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Rubio currently is outperforming Trump by 6 points among likely voters, and Murphy is running 1 point ahead of Clinton.”

49% of Florida adults approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office.  43% disapprove, and 7% are unsure.  Likely voters divide.  48% of Florida likely voters approve of the president’s job performance while 47% disapprove.

Complete October 9, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of Florida

Complete October 9, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Florida (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete October 9, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Florida (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology for Florida

Nature of the Sample for Florida

10/9: Pennsylvania: Clinton Leads Trump

In the battle for the White House, Democrat Hillary Clinton is well-positioned to carry Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes.  Among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have already voted, Clinton, 49%, leads Republican Donald Trump, 37%, by 12 points.  Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has 6% while Green Party candidate Jill Stein receives 4%.  One percent say they support someone else, and 3% are undecided.

“For Hillary Clinton, it’s all about running up the score in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia suburbs,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “For Donald Trump, he still needs to find a way to break the Democrats’ winning streak in the last six presidential contests in the Keystone State.”

Support for Clinton and Trump falls along party lines, but more Democrats are for Clinton than Republicans are for Trump.  90% of likely voters who are Democrats back Clinton while 83% of likely voters who are Republicans support Trump.  Among likely voters who are independents, Clinton, 37%, and Trump, 33%, are competitive.  Gary Johnson has the support of a notable 16% of independents.

African Americans who are likely to vote are overwhelmingly for Clinton.  Nearly nine in ten African Americans, 89%, support Clinton compared with only 5% for Trump.  However, white likely voters in Pennsylvania divide with 44% for Clinton and 42% for Trump.  Among white likely voters with a college education, a majority, 56%, support Clinton.  Trump, 51%, receives majority support among white likely voters without a college degree.

Clinton, 53%, outdistances Trump, 33%, by 20 points among women likely to cast a ballot in Pennsylvania.  Among men who are likely to vote, Clinton, 44%, and Trump, 41%, are competitive.

Clinton, 48%, bests Trump, 32%, among likely voters younger than 45.  She also leads Trump, 49% to 41%, among likely voters 45 and older.

Among registered voters in this multi-candidate field, Clinton has the support of 48% to 36% for Trump.  Johnson receives 7% while Stein has 4%.  Two percent of registered voters are for someone else, and 3% are undecided.

When Clinton and Trump face off in a two-way contest, Clinton, 51%, still has a 12 point lead over Trump, 39%, among likely voters in Pennsylvania including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have already voted.  Six percent do not support either candidate, 1% are for someone else, and 3% are undecided.

72% of likely voters with a candidate preference in the two-way contest say they strongly back their choice of candidate for president.  72% of likely voters who are for Clinton say they strongly support her.  A similar proportion of likely voters who are for Trump, 71%, are firmly committed to him.

Clinton and Trump have upside down favorable ratings, but Trump’s net negative is more than six times greater than that of Clinton.  Among likely voters in Pennsylvania, Clinton has a net negative of 5 points.  46% have a favorable impression of her while 51% have an unfavorable one.  Trump’s net negative is 32 points.  32% of likely voters have a positive view of Trump while 64% have an unfavorable opinion of him.

In the race for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Democrat Katie McGinty, 48%, and Republican incumbent Pat Toomey, 44% are competitive among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or have already voted.  Two percent support someone else, and 6% are undecided.  48% of likely voters with a candidate preference say they are firmly committed to their choice of candidate for U.S. Senate.  49% of McGinty’s backers, compared with 47% of Toomey’s supporters, say they strongly support their pick for U.S. Senate.

“Although GOP incumbent Toomey is running 7 points ahead of Trump among likely voters in Pennsylvania, McGinty is pretty much getting a similar share of the vote as Clinton,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “But, only 48% of likely voters are strongly committed to their choice for Senate.  This contest is one to watch in the closing weeks of the campaign.”

52% of Pennsylvania adults, including 55% of likely voters statewide, approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office.  39% of Pennsylvania residents disapprove, and 9% are unsure.

Complete October 9, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of Pennsylvania

Complete October 9, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Pennsylvania (Tables of Likely Voters)

Complete October 9, 2016 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of Pennsylvania (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology for Pennsylvania

Nature of the Sample for Pennsylvania

9/26: Clinton Outdistances Trump in New York Before “Reality TV Debate”

There are just hours to go until the first presidential debate which New Yorkers expect to be more like reality television than an informative discussion.  In the contest, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, 57%, lead their Republican rivals Donald Trump and Mike Pence, 33%, by 24 points among likely voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Seven percent do not support either candidate, 1% are for someone else, and 2% are undecided.

“Clinton and Trump face off tonight in New York, but the Empire State is far from a battleground state for these two New Yorkers,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Clinton does well among the same voters she carries elsewhere.  But, what makes New York different is the Democratic registration advantage and her ability to best Trump among white voters and men in the state.”

Looking at party, Clinton receives the support of most of her Democratic base, 92%.  While 83% of Republican likely voters back Trump, one in ten members of New York’s GOP, 10%, are for Clinton.  Among independents, Clinton garners the support of a plurality of voters, 42% to 37% for Trump.  A notable 14% do not support either Clinton or Trump.

In this unprecedented campaign where both Clinton and Trump hail from New York, it is Clinton who is the hometown favorite among most demographic groups.  Clinton, 89%, overwhelmingly leads Trump, 5%, among likely voters who are African American.  Among Latino voters, Clinton, 65%, is ahead of Trump, 30%, by more than two to one.  Among white voters, Clinton, 49%, is ahead of Trump, 41%, by 8 points.

Clinton also draws strength from likely voters who are women.  Among this group, Clinton, 65%, has more than double the support of Trump, 26%.  She also has the backing of a plurality of men, 48% for Clinton to 41% for Trump.  However, Trump, 48%, is ahead of Clinton, 40%, among white men who are likely to cast a ballot.  Education level also comes into play.  Clinton, 55%, leads Trump, 33%, by 22 points among white likely voters with a college degree.  However, Trump, 50%, has a 10 point lead over Clinton, 40%, among whites without a college education.

Regionally, Clinton’s support is bolstered by likely voters who live in New York City.  Here, Clinton outpaces Trump, 74% to 20%.  Clinton, 49%, also has a double-digit lead over Trump, 37%, among those who live Upstate.  In the suburbs of New York City, Trump, 47%, and Clinton, 46%, are competitive.

69% of likely voters with a candidate preference say they strongly support their choice of candidate.  More Clinton supporters, 71%, compared with Trump’s backers, 64%, report they are firmly committed to their selection for president.

Likely voters in New York State overwhelmingly have a negative opinion of Trump, 68%.  Not quite three in ten likely voters, 28%, have a favorable opinion of him.  When it comes to Clinton’s likeability, voters divide.  49% of the likely electorate have a favorable impression of Clinton while 47% have an unfavorable one.

Looking at the multi-candidate field, Clinton receives the support of 52% of likely voters statewide to 31% for Trump.  Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson garners 7% while Green Party candidate Jill Stein has 5%.  Two percent report they plan to support someone else, and 3% are undecided.  Of note, Johnson has the backing of 15% of independents who are likely to vote.

The First Presidential Debate

With the minutes ticking down to tonight’s presidential debate, 37% of registered voters in New York State expect a debate where Clinton and Trump make nasty comments about each other.  27% think the debate will be a forum where important issues are discussed, and 21% say the two candidates will just repeat lines from their campaign speeches.  Six percent believe a major gaffe or mistake will occur, and 9% are unsure.

“Many New Yorkers plan to watch the debate, and expectations are high for Hillary Clinton from these ‘blue state’ voters,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “They think she will demonstrate better command of the issues, answer questions more directly, and think Trump will make a major mistake.  They think he is just as likely as Clinton, however, to have the knockout line of the evening.”

Who Will Win?

Who do registered voters think will be the winner of the debate?  A majority of registered voters, 56%, think Clinton will emerge victorious.  The opinion that Clinton will win the debate spans most demographic groups with a few notable exceptions.  73% of Trump’s supporters, 66% of Republicans, and 54% of those who identify as conservative or very conservative believe Trump will defeat Clinton in the debate.  Still, 13% of Trump’s backers, 23% of Republicans, and 32% of those who say they are conservative or very conservative think Clinton will be victorious.  Clinton, 46%, edges Trump, 39%, on the question of who will win the debate among white voters without a college education.  White male voters divide.  45% claim Clinton will prevail as the winner of the debate, and 42% say Trump will score the most points.

Knows the Issues

A similar pattern holds true on the question of whether Clinton or Trump will know about the issues.  72% of registered voters report Clinton will know about the issues.  Republicans divide on this question.  47% of the New York GOP say Trump will have a firm grasp of the issues driving the campaign while 44% of Republicans assert Clinton will have the upper hand.  Even 34% of Trump’s supporters and 48% of voters who are conservative or very conservative believe Clinton will outperform Trump on the issues.

Is More Straightforward

55% of registered voters contend Clinton will be more likely than Trump to answer the questions directly.  Again, notable proportions of men, 47%, voters who identify as conservative or very conservative, 32%, Republicans, 21%, and Trump’s supporters, 11%, think Clinton has the advantage in this area.  48% of white voters without a college education think Clinton will address the questions head on compared with 45% who have this view of Trump.

Will Inspire Voters

On the question of which candidate is more likely to inspire voters, a plurality, 47%, say Clinton is more likely to do so compared with 29% who say Trump will hearten them.  One in five voters, 20%, do not think either candidate will inspire them.  Four percent are unsure.  Interestingly, more than one in ten Clinton supporters, 13%, and nearly one in five Trump backers, 17%, do not think their respective candidate of choice will rally voters.  While 76% of Democrats think Clinton will inspire voters, 67% of Republicans say Trump will do so.  13% of Democrats and 17% of the GOP report neither will invigorate voters.  Looking at gender, while 56% of women say Clinton will inspire voters during the debate, only 35% of men say Trump will do the same.  38% of male voters say Clinton is more likely to rally voters, and 23% report neither will do so.

Will Have the Knockout Comment

Voters divide about whether Clinton, 43%, or Trump, 45%, will deliver a knockout answer or comment.  Here, notable proportions of groups considered to be Clinton’s staunchest backers — 46% of white voters with a college degree, 40% of women, 24% of Clinton’s supporters, 27% of African Americans, 26% of Democrats, and 25% of those who identify as liberal or very liberal — concede that Trump will have a knockout response.

Will Make a Mistake

Trump is perceived by 72% of the New York electorate to be the candidate who will make a major mistake in the debate.  In fact, Trump’s supporters divide on the question.  45% say Trump will err in the matchup compared with 42% of those who say Clinton will make a mistake.  Majorities of Republicans, 51%, and those who identify as conservative or very conservative, 54%, believe Trump, not Clinton, will make an error in tonight’s debate.

Tuning into Reality TV

New York voters are likely to tune into tonight’s debate.  86% of registered voters statewide, including 44% who say they will watch all of it, say they will view, at least, some of the encounter between Clinton and Trump.  When it comes to the nature of the debate, 63% of registered voters think it will be more like a reality television show than an informative discussion, 31%.

Minds Made Up?

Despite interest in the debate, more than two-thirds of registered voters, 67%, say the debate will have little effect on their vote, 19%, or will not influence their vote at all, 48%.  33% report the debate will help them decide their vote a great deal, 7%, a good amount, 8%, or to some extent, 18%.  A majority of Clinton’s supporters, 51%, compared with 42% of Trump’s supporters, say the debate will have no effect on their vote.

U.S. Senate: Schumer vs. Long

Turning to the U.S. Senate race in New York, incumbent Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, 70%, leads his Republican challenger Wendy Long, 24%, by 46 points among likely voters in New York State including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.  Less than 1% are for another candidate, and 6% are undecided.  A majority of likely voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate, 54%, report they strongly support their choice of candidate.

Approval Ratings

Schumer’s job performance continues to be well-received by registered voters in New York.  53% of the statewide electorate thinks Schumer is doing either an excellent, 17%, or good, 36%, job in office.  This is similar to the 54% approval rating Schumer received when this question was last reported in May 2015.

Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand receives a job approval rating of 43% among registered voters statewide.  This includes 11% who think Gillibrand is doing an excellent job in office and 32% who say she is doing a good one.  Previously, Gillibrand’s approval rating stood at 45%.  35% of the electorate currently report Gillibrand is doing a fair, 26%, or poor, 9%, job, and 21% have either never heard of Gillibrand or are unsure how to rate her performance in the U.S. Senate.

40% of registered voters consider the job performance of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to be excellent, 8%, or good, 32%.  Cuomo’s approval rating is almost identical to the score he received in April, 41%.  A majority of voters, 55%, currently say Cuomo is doing either a fair, 38%, or poor, 17%, job in office.

53% of registered voters statewide rate President Barack Obama’s job performance as either excellent, 23%, or good, 30%.  This is similar to the 52% score the president received in April.  46% currently have either a fair, 18%, or poor, 28%, impression of how Mr. Obama is doing his job.  When asked whether voters approve or disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, 57% say they approve.  36% disapprove.  Among New York residents overall, 60% report they approve of how the president is performing in his post.

Direction of the State

When thinking about the direction of New York State, a majority of voters, 51%, think the state is moving in the wrong direction while 42% believe it is going in the right one.  In April, 43% of registered voters asserted the state was on track while 48% said it was off course.

Complete September 26, 2016 NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Release of New York

Complete September 26, 2016 NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll Tables of New York (Likely Voters)

Complete September 26, 2016 NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of New York (Adults and Registered Voters)

Marist Poll Methodology for New York

Nature of the Sample for New York

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