12/8: Clinton Leads Trump and Cruz… Competitive against Bush, Rubio, and Carson

In the 2016 race for the White House, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 52%, leads businessman Donald Trump, 41%, by double digits and is ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz by seven points, 51% for Clinton to 44% for Cruz.  However, the race tightens when Clinton is matched against former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.  Clinton edges Bush by four points, Rubio by three points, and she is in a virtual tie with Carson.

Among Latino voters nationally, Clinton has a wide lead.  However, all of these Republicans, except Trump, are getting a greater proportion of Latino voters than either Romney or McCain did in their presidential bids against Obama.

Americans, 58%, including most Latinos, 64%, think the Democratic Party better represents the views of Latinos.

When it comes to impressions of the candidates, Clinton’s rating is upside down among Americans.  Yet, a majority of Latinos have a positive opinion of her, and a plurality thinks she is improving the image of the Democratic Party.

On the Republican side, Carson remains the candidate with the highest positive rating among Americans.  However, as Carson has become better known, his negatives have more than doubled.  Still, Carson and Rubio are the only candidates with higher positive than negative scores among both Americans and Latinos.  Trump has the highest negative rating among Americans, 55%, and Latinos, 67%.

In addition, Trump is considered by nearly six in ten Americans, including nearly two-thirds of Latinos, to be hurting the Republican Party.  Majorities of Americans and Latinos also consider Trump to be insulting and offensive and do not believe he is the type of leader the nation needs now.  Republicans disagree.  71% of registered Republicans believe Trump “tells it like it is.”  76% think he is the kind of leader the country needs although a majority of these voters think he should better censor how he says things.

What do voters value in a candidate?  Half of the national electorate, 50%, thinks it is more important that a candidate reflects their positions on the issues while 46% say it is more important that a candidate share their values.  Latino voters are slightly more likely to prefer a candidate who shares their values, 51%, than one who identifies with them on the issues, 47%.

Most voters, including nearly three in four Latinos, say it would not affect their vote if a presidential candidate chooses someone of Latino or Hispanic background to be their running mate.  There is less of a consensus about whether or not voters would be more or less likely to support a candidate who supports the rollback of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

When it comes to the issue driving the election, jobs and the economy still ranks first among both Americans and Latinos.  Of note, terrorism has jumped to the number two spot among Americans.  Latinos mention education and immigration as their next two important concerns.

Most Americans watched at least some of presidential debates.  A notable proportion of both Americans and Latinos say the debates changed their mind about whom they would support for president.

Complete December 8, 2015 MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist Poll of the United States

Poll points:

  • Clinton, 52%, leads Trump, 41%, by 11 points among registered voters nationally.  In the September MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist Poll, Clinton was ahead of Trump by 13 points.  Among Latino voters, Clinton’s lead over Trump is 69% to 27%.  In September, Clinton outdistanced Trump by 47 points among Latinos.
  • Clinton, 51%, also has the advantage over, Cruz, 44%.  Clinton’s lead against Cruz has narrowed slightly from 11 points three months ago.  Clinton, 61%, outpaces Cruz, 34%, among Latino voters.  Clinton previously led Cruz by 33 points among the Latino electorate.
  • Clinton, 49%, edges Bush, 45%, among the national electorate.  The two candidates’ support is identical to what it was in the last poll.  Among Latino voters, Clinton, 61%, has a 26 point lead against Bush, 35%.  She previously led Bush by 30 points.
  • Clinton, 48%, and Rubio, 45%, are competitive.  Earlier this fall, Clinton, 50%, edged Rubio, 44%.  Among Latino voters, Clinton, 57%, outdistances Rubio, 38%, by 19 points.  However, in September Clinton was ahead of Rubio by 30 points among Latinos.
  • Clinton, 48%, and Carson, 47%, are in a virtual tie among registered voters.  However, Clinton outpaces Carson by 26 points among Latino voters, 61% to 35%.
  • Looking at the generic ballot, the Democratic candidate, 45%, and the Republican candidate, 45%, have identical support.  Among Latino voters, the Democratic candidate, 56%, is the favorite, but 36% say they would support the Republican candidate.
  • With 89% of Democrats reporting they would support the Democratic candidate and 94% of Republicans saying they would back the Republican candidate, there is a clear partisan divide.  Among independent voters, 42% would vote for the GOP candidate while 39% would support the Democratic candidate.  A notable 18% of independents are undecided.
  • 58% of registered voters, including 64% of Latino voters, think the Democratic Party better represents the views of Latinos.  22% of the national electorate, including 24% of Latino voters, believe the Republican Party better reflects the opinions of Latinos.
  • A majority of Americans, 55%, including 56% of Latinos, believe there have been enough members of the Clinton and Bush families in the White House.  40% of adults and 37% of Latinos disagree.

 Candidates’ Images

How do Americans view the leading candidates for president?  Only Carson and Rubio have a higher positive rating than negative score among Americans.

Only 32% of Americans, including 43% of Latinos, think Hillary Clinton is helping the image of the Democratic Party.  A majority of Democrats, 56%, believe Clinton is having a positive impact on their party.

A majority of Americans, 58%, including 65% of Latinos, believe Donald Trump is hurting the Republican brand.  Republicans divide.  43% think he helps the image of the party, and 40% believe he hurts it.  Americans and Latinos, alike, have reservations about Trump.  A majority of Americans, 52%, including 65% of Latinos, consider Trump to be insulting and offensive.  In contrast, 43% of Americans, including 31% of Latinos, say Trump tells it like it is.  In September, Americans divided about Trump’s manner of speaking.  49% thought he was insulting while 45% valued his candor.

When it comes to whether or not Trump is the kind of leader the nation needs, a majority of Americans, 55%, and an even greater proportion of Latinos, 68%, do not think he is the kind of leader the country needs now.  Most Republicans, 76%, disagree including 24% who think he is right for the times and 52% who report he is the kind of leader the nation needs if he can rein in his rhetoric.

Deciding Factors                                                                                       

When deciding for whom to vote, 50% of registered voters nationally believe it is more important that a candidate is closest to them on the issues while 46% want someone who shares their values.  Among Latino voters, 51% prefer a candidate who reflects their values while 47% think it is more important that a candidate is closest to them on the issues.

Most voters nationally, 88%, including 74% of Latino voters, say it makes no difference to their vote if a presidential nominee chooses a vice presidential candidate who is of Latino or Hispanic background.  A notable 23% of Latinos, though, would be more inclined to vote for a candidate who chooses a Latino or Hispanic running mate.

There is less consensus about whether or not voters would be more likely to support a candidate who favors the rollback of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.  36% of the national electorate would be more likely to cast their ballot for such a candidate.  26% would be less likely to do so, and 33% say a candidate’s position on the issue makes no difference to their vote.  The views of Latino voters closely reflect those of the overall electorate.  54% of Republicans would support a candidate with this position compared with only 22% of Democrats.

But, do Americans consider immigration to be a key component in deciding their vote?  Jobs and the economy, 28%, remains the leading campaign issue.  Terrorism, 15%, health care, 12%, education, 12%, foreign policy, 9%, immigration, 9%, and taxes, 5%, follow.  In September, jobs and the economy, 32%, topped the list.  Education, 15%, health care, 13%, and immigration, 11%, also received double-digits.  Of note, the proportion of Americans who cite terrorism as the leading campaign issue has more than doubled from 6% in September.

Among Latinos, the number one issue in deciding their voter is jobs and the economy, 25%.  19% mention education followed closely by 18% who say immigration.  Terrorism is a concern of 11%.  10% mention health care.  Seven percent cite foreign policy while 6% say taxes.  In September’s survey, 31% of Latinos considered jobs and the economy to be the leading issue in the presidential contest followed by immigration with 24%.

Debates Draw Large Audiences

More than three in four registered voters, 76%, including 77% of Latino voters, watched at least some of the televised Republican presidential debates.  When it comes to the Democratic debates, more than six in ten registered voters, 63%, including 66% of Latino voters have tuned in for, at least, some of them.

Do the debates matter?  Among registered voters who watched the debates, 61%, including 58% of Latino voters, say the debates have not changed their minds about the candidate they plan to support.  Notable proportions of both registered voters, 35%, and Latino voters, 37%, say they have switched their support as a result of tuning into the debates.

Americans Confident U.S. will Defeat ISIS… More than One-Third Concerned about Terror Attack

Nearly seven in ten Americans, including 72% of Latinos, think the United States and its allies will be able to defeat ISIS.  However, concern about another terror attack exists.  A plurality of Americans say they are more concerned they will be a victim of a terror attack than of gun violence or police brutality.

Poll points:

  • 69% of Americans and 72% of Latinos think the U.S. and its allies will be successful in defeating ISIS.  24% of residents overall, including 22% of Latinos, do not think the U.S. will be successful.
  • 36% of Americans are more worried that they or someone they know will be a victim of a terror attack than gun violence, 31%, or police brutality, 17%.  Among Latinos, 32% express concern over terrorism, 31% are worried about gun violence, and 24% are concerned about police brutality.  More African Americans are concerned about being a victim of police brutality, 41% than either gun violence, 29%, or a terror attack, 16%.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables