The GOP and Democratic political conventions are finally upon us. They will be scored by the media for tone and how well each side makes its case to Americans. No sooner will the gavel end these proceedings for campaign 2016, then those of us in the public opinion community will try to measure how the public reacted. But, beware the post-convention bounce. If history is any guide, there is no guarantee that there will be a significant change in the presidential contest as a result of the conventions, or that it will be long-lasting.
Relying upon public opinion polls to draw accurate conclusions about the relative success of each convention can be tricky. There is no one, proven formula to anticipate what is a “good,” post-convention bounce, and subsequently, what “good” or “bad” means for the future of each campaign.
In fact, there are many factors which give meaning to post-convention polls. First, both Trump and Clinton are well-known to the public even if neither one is particularly well-liked. The spectacles in Cleveland and Philadelphia are likely to have important and lasting moments, but the public is not likely to learn much new about either presidential candidate.
Second, history tells us that the underdog is more likely to receive a significant post-convention lift, but it is, more times than not, short-lived. Barry Goldwater and Walter Mondale are two examples that come to mind. But, with candidates at the top of each 2016 ticket that are already household names, in a campaign that has had its unprecedented share of surprises, who exactly is the underdog?
Third, the most recent and impactful convention was 1992. Bill Clinton rose to the occasion. But, there were other factors at work including the unexpected withdrawal of Ross Perot as the convention came to a close.
Fourth, like the last two quadrennial gatherings, these conventions are back-to-back. For political junkies, this may give the appearance of one two-week political fix and reduce the potential for a significant change in the contest.
This is not to say that the conventions will be irrelevant. Unforced errors, in what are increasingly well-scripted events, can still occur. Clint Eastwood’s chair comes to mind. Also, according to the latest McClatchy-Marist Poll, both Trump and Clinton have plenty of work to do. Trump needs to secure supporters of the other 16 candidates during the primaries. Right now, Trump has the support of only 60% of voters who said they backed someone else in a GOP primary. Clinton still needs to convince Sanders’ backers that she is the right choice. Clinton only attracts 57% of those who “felt the Bern” during the nomination fight.
Of course, the reaction of the national electorate to the conventions obscures how voters in each state (and therefore, the Electoral College totals) view the four nights of the political hoopla in Cleveland and Philadelphia. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll conducted pre-convention surveys in seven key battleground states. They show very competitive races in the Midwest states of Iowa and Ohio and a Clinton advantage in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Pre-convention, Trump and Clinton both have negatives that outpace their positives.
What should you look for post-convention? Have there been any changes in Americans’ impressions of the candidates? Has the political dialogue changed, and which candidate’s agenda is ruling the day? Does their respective selection for Vice President suggest leadership, consensus, or pandering? Does it reflect an appeal to their base supporters or an opportunity to reach out to undecided voters? Do the candidates score differently as tickets post-convention than they did pre-convention when matched one on one? The plan is to revisit these states after the shows move on to see whether voters have changed.
Whatever the result of the conventions, one thing we do know for sure. Most Americans believe this is an election that will truly make a difference depending upon who wins or loses. 73% of Americans express this opinion today compared with only 60% who shared this view just four years ago.
So, will there be a bounce? Will it be long-lasting? Or, just a blip. Stay tuned.
What do voters nationally think of the potential vice presidential picks of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is ahead of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump by single digits in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. With 9 electoral votes on the line in Colorado, 29 in Florida, 15 in North Carolina, and 13 at stake in Virginia, Clinton has the early edge. In 2008 and 2012, President Barack Obama carried these states with the exception of North Carolina. Obama lost North Carolina by 2 points in 2012.
In Colorado, Clinton, 43%, is ahead of Trump, 35%, among registered voters statewide. Among those who say they definitely plan to vote in November, Clinton’s advantage remains 8 points.
In Florida, 44% of registered voters support Clinton to 37% for Trump. When the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll last reported this question in March, Clinton received 49% of the statewide electorate to 41% for Trump. Among Florida’s registered voters who say they definitely plan to vote, three points currently separate Clinton and Trump.
In North Carolina, Clinton garners the support of 44% of registered voters compared with 38% for Trump. Clinton and Trump are separated by four points among those who report they definitely plan to vote in November.
In Virginia, Clinton, 44%, leads Trump, 35%, among registered voters statewide. Among those who say they will definitely go to the polls on Election Day, Clinton is up by 10 points.
In each of these four states, Clinton’s Democratic base is intact as is Trump’s support among Republicans. Although Clinton leads Trump by almost 20 points in Colorado among independent voters, independents in all four states have not coalesced behind either candidate. In fact, more than one in four independents in Florida and North Carolina say they support neither Clinton nor Trump, back another candidate, or are undecided. About one in three independents in Colorado and Virginia say the same.
A gender gap exists in Colorado, North Carolina, and Virginia. 49% of women in Colorado, 50% in North Carolina, and 52% of female voters in Virginia support Clinton while 42% of men in Colorado, 46% in North Carolina, and 41% of male voters in Virginia are for Trump. In Florida, Clinton, 45%, leads Trump, 35%, among women. Among Florida voters who are men, Clinton, 42%, and Trump, 39%, are closely matched.
In each of these four states, Trump leads Clinton by double digits among white voters without a college degree. In North Carolina, 56%, and Virginia, 54%, Trump receives majority support among these voters. In Florida and Colorado, Trump receives the backing of pluralities of white voters without a college degree, 47% and 44%, respectively. However, he underperforms what Mitt Romney received among these voters in 2012.
Among white voters with a college education, Clinton garners the support of pluralities in Colorado, 49%, and Virginia, 42%. Trump, 41%, and Clinton, 39%, are competitive among white voters with a college education in North Carolina. In Florida, Trump receives 44% to Clinton’s 39% among this group. Although Trump underperforms the Republican share from 2012, Clinton receives about the same support as Obama among these voters.
“With 66 electoral votes at stake in these four states, Donald Trump is playing catchup against Hillary Clinton,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “The driving force behind voters’ choices is the negative impressions they have of both Trump and Clinton. Clinton’s single-digit lead in each of these states is due to her slight advantage in how voters perceive the two candidates.”
In a four-way contest with Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, and Jill Stein of the Green Party, little changes in these four states. Clinton retains her single-digit advantage over Trump.
Clinton and Trump are unpopular in each of the states polled, and their favorable scores are upside down. 59% of residents in Colorado, 56% of those in Florida, 58% in North Carolina, and 57% of adults in Virginia have a negative opinion of Clinton. Impressions of Trump aren’t any better. 68% of Colorado adults, 63% of Floridians, 61% of North Carolina residents, and 64% of those in Virginia have an unfavorable impression of Trump.
Turning to the contests for U.S. Senate, Republican incumbent Michael Bennet, 53%, leads his Democratic challenger Darryl Glenn, 38%, by 15 points among Colorado’s registered voters. In Florida, a hypothetical matchup between former presidential candidate and Republican Senator Marco Rubio and potential opponent Democrat Patrick Murphy, shows a close contest, 47% to 44%, among the statewide electorate. In North Carolina, incumbent Senator Richard Burr, 48%, leads Democrat Deborah Ross, 41%, among the North Carolina electorate.
In the race for governor in North Carolina, Democrat Roy Cooper, 49%, is competitive against Republican Governor Pat McCrory, 45%, among registered voters statewide.
The job performance of President Barack Obama is viewed more positively than negatively by residents in each of these states. In Colorado, 50% of adults approve of how the president is doing his job while 41% disapprove. In Florida, 49% of residents statewide approve of how President Obama is performing while 41% do not. Floridians were divided, 48% to 44%, in the March NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll. In North Carolina, the president’s approval rating stands at 49% among residents statewide while his negative score is at 42%. In Virginia, 49% think the president is doing his job well while 43% disapprove.
In the race for the White House nationally, presumptive nominees Democrat Hillary Clinton, 42%, and Republican Donald Trump, 39%, are closely matched among registered voters nationally. 13% say they would not support either candidate, 1% backs someone else, and 4% are undecided. When McClatchy-Marist last reported this question in April, Clinton, 50%, was ahead of Trump, 41%, by nine points among the national electorate.
While a partisan divide exists, there is little consensus among independent voters. 36% of independents say they would vote for Clinton while 33% would support Trump. A notable 23% of independents say they won’t support either candidate. Among Democrats, 83% are behind Clinton while a similar proportion of Republicans, 85%, back Trump.
A gender gap is present. A slim majority of women voters, 51%, support Clinton while a plurality of men, 47%, is for Trump. Interestingly, 16% of men say they do not support either candidate. Differences also exist between white voters with a college degree and those without a college education. A majority of white voters without a college education, 56%, support Trump. Among white voters who are college graduates, 45% back Clinton to 41% for Trump.
“Both candidates need to step up their game during their respective conventions,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “They have an opportunity to turn around the negative impressions many voters have of each of them.”
However, the national electorate is not overwhelmed by either Clinton or Trump. 49% of Clinton’s supporters report they chose her because they are for Clinton while 48% say they made their selection because they are against Trump. Notably, 37% of Democrats and 70% of independents who support Clinton say they are ‘with her’ because they oppose Trump.
Among Trump’s backers, a majority, 56%, made their selection because they are against Clinton while slightly more than four in ten, 41%, are behind Trump. Looking at party, 51% of Republicans and 69% of independents who are Trump supporters say they made their choice because they are against Clinton.
To make matters worse for both Clinton and Trump, their favorable ratings are upside down. Nearly two-thirds of adults nationally, 64%, have an unfavorable opinion of Trump while a similar 60% have a negative opinion of Clinton.
When Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, and Jill Stein of the Green Party are included in the presidential tossup, Clinton receives the support of 40% of voters to 35% for Trump. Johnson garners 10% of the national electorate while 5% back Stein. Two percent support someone else, and 9% are undecided. Of note, more than one in four voters who report they supported Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders during the Democratic contest say they are for Johnson, 14%, or Stein, 13%. Similarly, about a quarter of voters who backed a Republican other than Trump in the primaries report they plan to vote for Johnson, 19%, or Stein, 5%.
Do voters think it matters if Clinton or Trump is elected in November? Nearly three in four voters, 73%, say it makes a big difference, and an additional 14% report it makes some difference. One in ten members of the electorate, 10%, says it does not matter at all. In 2012, 60% of voters nationally thought in mattered a great deal who was elected president.
Looking at the issues, more than six in ten voters, 61%, put greater trust in Clinton to handle the treatment of Muslim Americans in this country. More voters have greater confidence in Clinton than Trump to handle issues facing gay, lesbian, and transgender Americans, 59%, immigration, 54%, illegal Mexican immigrants, 54%, and gun violence, 50%. The national electorate divides about whether Clinton or Trump is more trusted when it comes to negotiating fair trade policies, the war against terrorism, the separation between Church and State, and the creation of good jobs.
When it comes to the qualities of the candidates, Clinton is overwhelmingly perceived as the candidate who has the experience to be president, 60%, and a majority, 56%, reports she has the temperament to be president. Clinton is also thought to be the candidate who cares about the average person, 45%, and who shares voters’ values, 43%. The national electorate divides about whether Clinton or Trump is better described as honest and trustworthy or who is closer to them on the issues. 22% say neither candidate is honest and trustworthy.
Do registered voters wax nostalgic? Would they prefer former President Bill Clinton be the Democratic nominee rather than Hillary Clinton? Would voters prefer former President Ronald Reagan be the Republican nominee rather than Donald Trump? Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.
To read the full McClatchy article, click here.
In the race for the White House, presumptive nominees, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, are in a tight battle for Iowa’s 6 and Ohio’s 18 electoral votes. In Pennsylvania, Clinton is currently well-positioned to carry the Keystone State’s 20 electoral votes. In 2008 and 2012, President Barack Obama won each of these three states.
In Iowa, three points separate Clinton, 42%, and Trump, 39%, among registered voters statewide. The contest has tightened since January when Clinton had an eight point advantage over Trump. Among registered voters in Iowa who say they definitely plan to vote, one point separates Clinton and Trump.
In Ohio, Clinton and Trump are tied among the statewide electorate at 39%. Here, too, the contest has become more competitive. In March, Clinton was ahead of Trump by 6 points among registered voters in Ohio. Among registered voters in Ohio who say they definitely plan to vote, the margin between Clinton and Trump is 3 points.
In Pennsylvania, Clinton, 45%, leads Trump, 36%, by 9 points in the hunt for the state’s 20 electoral votes. This is down from the 15 point lead Clinton had in April’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll. Among registered voters in Pennsylvania who say they definitely plan to vote, Clinton maintains her 9 point advantage.
“The good news for Hillary Clinton is that she is still even or ahead of Donald Trump in these three critical states in the aftermath of the FBI’s report on her email controversy,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “The bad news for her is the contest has gotten closer in all of these states, and the issue does not seem to be going away anytime soon.”
In all three states, Clinton and Trump maintain the support of their respective party’s base. Among independents, there is little consensus. In fact, neither Clinton nor Trump has a double-digit lead among independent voters in any of these three states. More than one-quarter of independents are still shopping for a presidential candidate to support when given a choice between Clinton and Trump.
A gender gap exists in all three states with Clinton outperforming Trump among women, and Trump leading, or strongly competitive with Clinton among men. While nearly half of women voters in Iowa, 49%, support Clinton, 48% of men are for Trump. The scenario is similar in in Ohio where 47% of female voters favor Clinton compared with 47% of male voters who support Trump. In Pennsylvania, 49% of women back Clinton. However, men divide, 42% for Trump to 41% for Clinton. Also of note, pluralities of white voters without a college degree in Iowa, 43%, Ohio, 49%, and Pennsylvania, 43%, support Trump while pluralities of white voters with a college education in Iowa, 44%, Ohio, 39%, and Pennsylvania, 47%, are for Clinton.
When Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Green Party are included in the general election contest, Clinton and Trump remain competitive in Iowa and Ohio, and Clinton maintains her single-digit advantage in Pennsylvania.
Clinton and Trump are not well liked by a majority of residents, and their favorable ratings are upside down in all three states. Majorities of adults in Iowa, 59%, Ohio, 60%, and Pennsylvania, 54%, have an unfavorable opinion of Clinton. Trump’s negatives are also high. More than six in ten residents in Iowa, 62%, Ohio, 61%, and Pennsylvania, 62%, perceive Trump unfavorably.
Turning to the U.S. Senate, in Iowa, Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley, 52%, leads his Democratic opponent, Patty Judge, 42%, by 10 points among registered voters statewide. However, Republican incumbents Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are in tight contests against their Democratic challengers. In Ohio, Portman and Democrat Tom Strickland are tied at 44% among the Ohio electorate. In Pennsylvania, 47% of registered voters statewide support Democrat Katie McGinty while 44% are for Toomey.
Residents in Iowa and Ohio divide about the job performance of President Barack Obama. In Iowa, 45% of Iowans approve of how the president is doing his job while 43% disapprove. President Obama’s approval rating has improved in the Hawkeye State. At the end of January, 42% of residents approved of the president’s job performance while 50% disapproved. In Ohio, 44% of residents approve of how the president is doing his job while 44% do not. Ohio adults divided, 45% to 48%, when the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll last reported this question in March.
President Obama fares best in Pennsylvania where 49% of adults statewide approve of his job performance while 41% disapprove. In April, residents divided with 49% saying they approved of how Mr. Obama was performing in his role. 46%, at that time, disapproved.
In the race for the Democratic nomination for president, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 49%, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 47%, are neck and neck among California’s likely Democratic electorate. Clinton does best among likely Democratic primary voters who are 45 years of age or older – regardless of gender, who have already voted by absentee ballot, or who identify as Democrats. Sanders outpaces Clinton among first-time voters, independents, or likely Democratic primary voters, both men and women, who are under the age of 45. Sanders, 49%, and Clinton, 46%, are competitive among likely Democratic primary voters who are Latino.
“We are seeing a familiar pattern in what is the last major pre-convention collision between Clinton and Sanders,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “As throughout the primary season, age is the story in this California tossup. Sanders inspires younger or first-time voters, and Clinton relies upon those who are older or have participated in the past.”
72% of likely Democratic primary voters with a candidate preference say they strongly support their choice of candidate. Among Sanders’ backers, 73% report they will not waver in their commitment to him. 70% of Clinton’s supporters express a similar level of dedication to her.
Among the potential Democratic electorate, which includes all registered Democrats and voters without a party preference who plan to participate in the Democratic primary, Sanders receives 48% to Clinton’s 47%. Two percent volunteer another candidate, and 3% are undecided.
Turning to the general election contest against the presumptive Republican nominee, Clinton and Sanders both outdistance businessman Donald Trump by double digits among registered voters in California. However, Sanders does better against Trump than does Clinton mostly because of Sanders’ strength among independent voters. Sanders leads Trump by 39 points among voters who do not identify with a party compared with Clinton who leads Trump by 16 points among this group.
In California’s open primary for U.S. Senate, among likely voters statewide, the Democratic candidates, Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez, are front-runners over the leading Republican hopefuls. Democrat Harris, 37%, is out in front followed by Sanchez who receives 19%. Republicans Tom Del Beccaro, 8%, Ron Unz, 5%, and Duf Sundheim, 5%, garner single-digit support. Three percent volunteered another candidate, and a notable 24% of likely primary voters are undecided. These voters split evenly when asked if they would lean toward voting for a Democratic or Republican candidate.
Looking at the ballot initiative which would legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, a majority of California registered voters, 55%, support the proposal while 39% oppose it. Support divides along party lines. 65% of Democrats are for legalizing marijuana use while a similar proportion of Republicans, 64%, are against it. 60% of independents support the ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
How does California Governor Jerry Brown fare in the court of public opinion? 54% of California residents, including 77% of likely Democratic primary voters, approve of how Brown is doing his job. 26% of adults statewide disapprove. Even more Californians think highly of President Barack Obama. 61% of California residents, including 88% of likely Democratic primary voters, approve of the president’s job performance. 28% of California adults disapprove of how President Obama is doing his job.
In the quest for the Republican nomination, businessman Donald Trump, 49%, is ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, 34%, by 15 points among likely Republican primary voters in Indiana. Ohio Governor John Kasich trails far behind with 13%. Trump has the advantage among many key demographic groups. He especially outdistances his opponents among likely Republican primary voters who self-identify as moderate or conservative, those who are over 45, without a college education, or who are men. Cruz does best among likely Republican primary voters who describe themselves as very conservative.
59% of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference report they strongly support their choice of candidate. 66% of Trump’s backers compared with 56% of Cruz’s supporters and 40% of those for Kasich say they are firmly committed to their candidate selection.
When it comes to the second choice of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference, 39% select Kasich followed by Cruz, 31%, and Trump, 18%.
Last week, Cruz and Kasich announced they would team up to defeat Donald Trump in Indiana. However, 63% of likely Republican primary voters say the alliance is not a factor in deciding their vote, including 63% of Trump’s supporters, 66% of Cruz’s backers, and 53% of likely GOP voters for Kasich. 37% say it is a factor, including 22% who say it is a major factor and 15% who report it is a minor factor.
58% of likely Republican primary voters say they disapprove of the deal between Cruz and Kasich to stop Trump at all costs and think it is further proof that the Republicans are trying to rig the game against Trump. 34% of likely GOP voters approve of the coalition to stop Trump at all costs.
Should the Republicans face a contested convention this summer, nearly two-thirds of likely Republican voters in Indiana, 64%, say that the candidate with the most votes should be the GOP nominee even if he does not receive a majority of delegates before the convention. This includes 88% of likely Republican primary voters for Trump but also 42% of Cruz’s supporters and 29% of those who back Kasich. 29% of likely GOP voters believe if no one gets a majority, the delegates should select the person they think would be the best nominee, including 64% of Kasich’s supporters.
“After the Acela primary, there is an aura of inevitability surrounding the Trump and Clinton candidacies,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “In Indiana, Trump is positioned to corral all the delegates which will be a big prize toward winning the nomination outright. Clinton and Sanders are more likely to divide the delegate pool which will do little to change the narrative on the Democratic side.”
Looking at the Democratic contest, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 50%, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 46%, are closely matched among likely Democratic primary voters in Indiana. Clinton’s support is bolstered by likely Democratic primary voters who are 45 years of age or older among whom she receives 70%. Sanders’ support is buoyed by likely Democratic primary voters who are under 45 years old, among whom he is supported by 70%. He also does well among those who are first-time or independent voters. While Clinton, 57%, outpaces Sanders, 39%, among women, Sanders, 55%, leads Clinton, 41%, among men.
71% of likely Democratic primary voters in Indiana with a candidate preference say they strongly support their choice of candidate. 71% of Clinton’s supporters and 70% of Sanders’ backers express a firm level of commitment to their choice of candidate.
In hypothetical general election contests, all three Republican candidates lead Clinton. Sanders, however, is closely matched among registered voters statewide against Trump, Cruz, and Kasich.
A plurality of the Indiana electorate, 42%, considers Trump’s statements on the campaign trail to be frequently insulting and thinks that he has the wrong approach on many issues. Included here are 73% of Democrats but only 38% of independents and 20% of Republicans. 26% say Trump’s manner and language are bothersome, but he raises important issues, and 21% believe Trump tells it like it is and has the right approach on many issues. 10% percent do not think any of these statements describe Trump’s manner.
Turning to the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Todd Young, 56%, outdistances Marlin Stutzman, 24%, among likely Republican primary voters in Indiana. A notable 19% are undecided.
42% of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference for U.S. Senate say they strongly support their choice of candidate. 49% of Stutzman’s supporters, compared with 39% of Young’s backers, say they will not waver in their commitment to their candidate.
Indiana residents divide about the job performance of Governor Mike Pence. 42% of adults statewide, including 63% of likely Republican primary voters, approve of the job he is doing in office while 41% disapprove. A notable 17% are unsure.
Looking at President Barack Obama’s approval rating in the Hoosier State, 42% of adults statewide, including 84% of likely Democratic primary voters, approve of the president’s performance. 50% disapprove.
In the contest for the Republican presidential nomination in Pennsylvania, businessman Donald Trump, 45%, outpaces Texas Senator Ted Cruz, 27%, by 18 points among likely Republican primary voters statewide. Ohio Governor John Kasich follows with 24%. Trump leads his rivals among many key demographic groups. Of note, Trump and Cruz are competitive among white evangelical Christians and those who describe themselves as very conservative. Trump and Kasich vie for likely GOP voters who are college graduates or moderates.
Six in ten Republican likely primary voters with a candidate preference, 60%, say they strongly support their choice of candidate. Among those who support Trump, 72% report they are firmly committed to their choice. This compares with 52% of Cruz’s backers and 47% of Kasich’s supporters who express the same level of support.
Looking at the second choice candidate of likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference, Kasich, 40%, is the most mentioned followed by Cruz, 30%. 18% say Trump is their second choice candidate for the Republican nomination.
“Trump and Clinton are both positioned to win the popular vote,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “For the Democrats, it’s all about delegate counts. But, for the Republicans, the popular vote doesn’t guarantee a big chunk of the delegates at the convention. Many will not be committed to a candidate after Tuesday and will need convincing.”
In the race for the Democratic nomination for president, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 55%, has a 15 point lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 40%, among likely Democratic primary voters in Pennsylvania. Clinton does especially well among likely Democratic primary voters who are 45 years of age or older or are African American. Sanders does best among first-time voters, those who are under 45 years old, or those who identify as very liberal. While Clinton leads Sanders by 28 points among women, Sanders, 49%, and Clinton, 45%, are competitive among men.
Seven in ten likely Democratic primary voters with a candidate preference, 70%, say they strongly support their choice of candidate. Similar proportions of Clinton’s supporters, 71%, and Sanders’ backers, 68%, report they will not waver in their commitment to their candidate.
In hypothetical general election contests, Clinton and Sanders have the advantage over their potential Republican rivals, with one exception. When Clinton, 45%, and Kasich, 48%, are paired against each other, the two are competitive among Pennsylvania registered voters. In each of these potential general election contests, Sanders outperforms Clinton against the Republicans.
On the statewide level, 45% of Pennsylvania adults approve of Governor Tom Wolf’s job performance. 40% disapprove, and 15% are unsure. Looking at the approval rating of Senator Pat Toomey, 42% approve of how he is doing his job, 28% disapprove, and a notable 30% are unsure.
What effect, if any, will the controversy surrounding the confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, have on Toomey’s re-election bid in November? If Toomey agrees with his Republican colleagues to deny Garland confirmation hearings, a plurality of registered voters, 45%, say it will make no difference to their vote. But, more than one in three, 34%, reports they would be less inclined to support Toomey. 18% say they would be more likely to vote for him. If Toomey disagrees with his Republican colleagues and wants to hold confirmation hearings now, a majority, 54%, reports it will not influence whom they will support for the U.S. Senate. More than one in four voters, 26%, think it would make them more likely to cast their ballot for Toomey. 17% say it would make them less likely to do so.
Pennsylvania adults divide about President Obama’s job performance. 49% of residents, including 82% of likely Democratic primary voters, approve of how the president is doing his job. 46% disapprove.
In the contest for the Republican presidential nomination, businessman Donald Trump, 54%, leads Ohio Governor John Kasich, 25%, by 29 points among likely Republican primary voters in New York State. Texas Senator Ted Cruz receives 16% of the likely GOP electorate. Trump maintains a commanding lead over his Republican rivals. In the previous NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll of New York, Trump was ahead of Kasich by 33 points.
“Donald Trump is well-positioned to carry New York handily and is likely to acquire a sizeable number of New York’s delegates, as a result,” says Dr. Lee Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
64% of likely Republican voters with a candidate preference strongly support their choice of candidate. Seven in ten Trump supporters, 70%, say they will not waver in their commitment to him.
Among likely Republican primary voters with a candidate preference, Kasich, 37%, is the most mentioned candidate as voters’ second choice. Cruz follows with 30%, and Trump receives 14%.