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Early Poll Numbers Show Hillary Clinton Trouncing Donald Trump

Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

With Donald Trump now assured of winning the Republican nomination, Republicans were presented this afternoon with new polling data that provides a sobering reminder of just how difficult 2016 is likely to be for them:

As Donald Trump captures the mantle of presumptive Republican nominee, a new poll finds he begins his general election campaign well behind Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

The new CNN/ORC Poll, completed ahead of Trump’s victory last night, found Clinton leads 54% to 41%, a 13-point edge over the New York businessman, her largest lead since last July.

Clinton is also more trusted than Trump on many issues voters rank as critically important, with one big exception. By a 50% to 45% margin, voters say Trump would do a better job handling the economy than Clinton would
Almost 9 out of 10 voters in the poll called the economy extremely or very important to their vote for president, outranking any other issue tested in the poll.

Clinton has the edge on a range of other issues. She is more trusted than Trump on terrorism (50% Clinton to 45% Trump), immigration (51% to 44%), health care (55% to 39%), the income gap (54% to 37%), foreign policy (61% to 36%), education (61% to 34%) and climate change (63% to 30%).

Overall, voters are evenly split on their opinion of Clinton — 49% see her favorably and the same share unfavorably. But a decidedly larger group (56%) see Trump unfavorably than see him favorably (41%).

Trump’s path to the GOP nomination became clearer after his win in the Indiana Republican primary Tuesday led to his primary rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, to drop out of the race. While Clinton lost Indiana to her primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the former secretary of state has a broad lead among delegates.
Trump and Clinton would be the most disliked major party nominees in CNN’s polling dating back to 1992, with only two other candidates meriting less than 50% favorability heading into the election — Mitt Romney was 44% in April 2012 and Bill Clinton was viewed positively by 42% of voters in April 1992.

Asked why they back Clinton or Trump, most of those behind each candidate say their preference in the matchup is more about opposing a candidate than supporting one. Among Clinton supporters, 51% said their choice was mostly about opposing Trump and 57% of Trump supporters said they went with him because they don’t want Clinton in the White House.

Few in the poll say they feel well-represented by the government in Washington, 24% say they feel very or somewhat well represented, with Democrats (35%) more likely to feel that way than Republicans (10%). Among Democrats who back Sanders, 39% say they are not represented, more than double the 18% of Clinton supporters who say the same. Among those Republican voters who back Trump, 64% say they are unrepresented by the government vs. 55% among those who favored another GOP candidate.

Although Trump and Sanders supporters both tend to feel less well represented, there isn’t much overlap between Sanders’ supporters in the primary and Trump voters in a hypothetical general election matchup with Clinton. Just 10% of Sanders’ primary backers say they would back Trump in a Clinton-Trump hypothetical head-to-head. That’s about the same as the share of Clinton backers who say they would vote Trump in a Sanders-Trump matchup (11%).

For the most part, this poll is largely consistent with the head-to-head polling that has been done in the past between Clinton and Trump, with most every poll that has been done between the two with the exception of a handful of Rasmussen polls showing Clinton beating the New York real estate mogul. In the RealClearPolitics model, Clinton (47.3%) has a 6.5 point lead over Trump (40.8%), with the numbers from Pollster showing a lead of roughly the same size notwithstanding the fact that it includes several polls that RCP does not take into consideration. In any case, perhaps the most notable thing about this these numbers is the large size (11.9%) of the group that consists of people who are either undecided between Clinton and Trump or who may be leaning toward another candidate. Given the fact that this election will feature two candidates with very high unfavorable ratings that are unlikely to change significantly, that number could be important if a significant number of voters start getting behind a third-party candidate, such as prospective Libertarian Party nominee and former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson. While it is admittedly unlikely that Johnson or any other third-party candidate will poll as high as 11% in the end, the fact that there appears to be a lot of dissension in both parties over their respective party nominees suggests that 2016 could be a year that a properly positioned candidate from outside the two party system garners at least enough support to gain some real media attention.

As usual, there are plenty of caveats to apply to these early head-to-head polls, including the fact that, in the end, it will be the results at the state level that actually matter when it comes to selecting the next President and that we won’t really have an idea of where the race stands even this far out until we start seeing polls from battleground states such as Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. That being said, there’s no way that these early numbers can be at ll comforting to Republicans who will decide to swallow their pride and get in line behind a flawed candidate at the top of the ticket. Among other things, they indicate that, by nominating Trump, Republicans are putting at risk not only their chance to take back the White House after eight years of Barack Obama, but also control of the Senate and, in some states perhaps, control of state legislatures and Governor’s Mansions, both of which will be exceedingly important as we get closer to the 2020 Census. Perhaps all of these numbers will be proven wrong and Trump will find a way to win the election, although personally I don’t really believe that, but as things stand right now the Republican Party may as well start planning for another contested primary in 2020, because it doesn’t look like they’re going to win in 2016.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. grumpy realist says:

    Just wait until the media, with their High Broderism, gets into the act. They want a horse race and by gum, they’re going to create one, even if the result of electing Trump will be another Great Depression.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  2. gVOR08 says:

    Misquoting John Paul Jones, Trump has not yet begun to lie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  3. JKB says:

    @grumpy realist: even if the result of electing Trump will be another Great Depression.

    Really? Trump is going to be a creature of the unions and not permit wages to fall to match the lower business activity like FDR did? Trump is going to whimsically change the rules often and arbitrarily so that businesses have no confidence in making investments like FDR did? Trump is going to purposely sabotage efforts between the election and the inauguration to get people back to work like FDR did?

    Is Trump going to take aggressive steps to put coal miners out of work and bankrupt coal companies? Is Trump going to seek to jack up the minimum wage to almost the median wage and way above the level the business activity can handle?

    No, Trump isn’t going to cause an depression, Great or otherwise. In fact, as not-the-Democrat, he will enjoy an immediate improvement in the anemic economic conditions of the last 8 years. Probably have growth at 2+% before the fall of 2017.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 49

  4. MBunge says:

    MSNBC had a segment this morning that stated Trump was at 1% the day he got into the race, 21 points behind Jeb Bush.

    The wild cards in this race would seem to be…

    1. Can Trump avoid a meltdown? He’s stood up fairly well to some intense attacks so far but it’s hard to imagine him getting away with his policy ignorance for six more months.

    2. How will Hillary stand up to Trump’s attacks? He just flat out destroyed Bush, Rubio and Cruz. Her supporters like to think of her as another Iron Lady but she struggled to keep her cool with Bernie’s rather mild jabs.

    3. How will the public react to Trump’s attacks? People basically lost their minds when Rick Lazio walked across the stage to confront Hillary, something that many would have hailed as a masterstroke of political theater if he’d done it to another man.

    4. How negative is the race actually going to be? Hillary and her campaign have already signaled that they’re planning to make it all about the awfulness of Trump and Trump is, of course, going to be himself. Nasty races, however, often lead to disgusted electorates and low turn out.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: I’m doing Trump the respect of treating his stated policies as something he would actually carry out. Result would be as follows:

    Tariffs against China/Mexico–> trade war. How is Trump going to keep China/Mexico from similar tariffs against the US? He can’t. Aside from a lot of what he claims he’s going to do being illegal according to the WTO treaties we’ve signed, which brings up even more problems.

    Tax cuts: Trump’s tax cuts would add at least a trillion to the deficit. The major beneficiaries of said tax cuts would be the rich, who would benefit $400,000 on average, while the average poor person would benefit $142 or thereabouts.

    Increasing the US military–> adds even more to the deficit.

    Getting rid of NATO and leaving Europe to do its defense on its own: no wonder Putin is smiling at the thought of Trump being POTUS.

    That enough to start with?

    I’m also quite certain that the secondary effects from Trump as POTUS will be even more grim. What will Trump do when he discovers his tax cuts don’t increase the US GDP by 4-6%, as he claims? Cut taxes more?

    Do we really want to have the US turned into Kansas, redux?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

  6. Donald J. Trump Generator says:

    Donald J. Trump
    @faketrump

    Doug is a totally overrated clown who speaks without knowing the facts. When will Doug start to apologize to me? Sad!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  7. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: P.S. The problem the coal miners have in Appalachia wouldn’t go away even if we did stick to coal. The coal out in the Midwest is more easily accessible and doesn’t require carting it over miles and miles of very winding roads, and has a lower production cost.

    Natural gas is even cheaper.

    And that’s not even starting to look at the mercury and sulfur in coal.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  8. PJ says:

    @MBunge:

    2. How will Hillary stand up to Trump’s attacks? He just flat out destroyed Bush, Rubio and Cruz. Her supporters like to think of her as another Iron Lady but she struggled to keep her cool with Bernie’s rather mild jabs.

    Imagine his attacks on Sanders.

    Imagine Sanders defending being a Democratic Socialist. Defending tax hikes on everyone. Defending his honeymoon. Etc.

    Imagine what Sanders will demand of Trump to release his tax returns.

    I’m quite happy that we only get to imagine these things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. MBunge says:

    @PJ: Imagine his attacks on Sanders.

    So, your argument is that the candidate WE KNOW is very unpopular with voters is better than the candidate who MIGHT become unpopular?

    I’m sure that philosophy will lead you to great success in politics.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  10. MBunge says:

    “A federal judge in Washington on Wednesday ordered that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may have to testify in a lawsuit related to the private email server she used while secretary of state.”

    Has any country ever had both candidates for President getting sued during the same election?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  11. Tyrell says:

    Hillary talks about “continuing the Obama legacy”. Not a good idea: too many problems – a veritable minefeld.
    “Hillary will be trying to get so far from Obama that she will even give him a free vacation – to outer Mongolia ! ” (am radio)

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 21

  12. MarkedMan says:

    I would have preferred Cruz to Trump as an opponent. The Cruz strategy was going to be “Look everyone! It’s Hillary, the she-devil!” and that was a loser in NY when she ran for the Senate and it would have lost again. Republicans live inside the crazy Fox world and can’t even look at Hillary without making the sign of the cross. But your average voter just looked at her and said “What the heck are they talking about?” They actually made her biggest negative, blandness, into a positive. But Trump won’t make that mistake.

    Of course, he is Trump so he will eventually start talking about her menstrual period or something, but that just seems to solidify his support…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  13. Franklin says:

    @MBunge:

    Has any country ever had both candidates for President getting sued during the same election?

    Nope. It’s called American Exceptionalism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. stonetools says:

    While I would love to believe these early poll numbers, everybody with any knowledge of polls has said repeatedly that these early polls are unreliable, so I’m going to ignore these polls for the time being. Meanwhile, Clinton has thrown a TV ad against Trump that’s a real haymaker.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/05/hillary-clinton-wont-let-republicans-forget-never-trump

    The ad is all Republican quotes, too.
    The general election campaign has begun.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  15. Pch101 says:

    @stonetools:

    It would be preferable if that kind of ad didn’t have Clinton’s name on it. That sort of ad does well with the Democratic choir, but it could backfire with the Republicans who it needs to reach.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. SKI says:

    It’s almost like @JKB doesn’t realize that FDR didn’t cause the Great Depression; that it occurred under Hoover and FDR was elected in response…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  17. Tyrell says:

    @stonetools: Russia has increased its troop numbers at the borders and in Europe before the election. Putin knows he will not get the free passes and empty warnings like he has from Secretary Kerry and President Obama. The people of Europe are worried and nervous. They got hit with the immigrant onslaught and now Russia is causing problems once again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  18. PJ says:

    @MBunge:

    So, your argument is that the candidate WE KNOW is very unpopular with voters is better than the candidate who MIGHT become unpopular?

    You made my argument with your reply.

    Sanders supporters look at current polls and think that it can only get worse for Clinton who has been attacked by the GOP for, what, the last 24 years or so, and is quite well known.

    On the other hand, Sanders, who, until a couple of months ago, was a total unknown to almost everyone and has never faced the kind of attacks that Clinton has faced. His supporters think that he _MIGHT_ become unpopular, but he probably won’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. gVOR08 says:

    @Tyrell: Say what? There are surveys of who Europeans want to win the US election. One country, only one, favors Trump. Russia. Think Putin would give Trump a couple years to learn the job? Putin would eat Trump alive and everyone outside the CEC bubble knows it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  20. R. Dave says:

    I swear to god, I really just can’t understand the more or less 50/50 partisan split in this country. I’m no fan of Hillary Clinton, but Trump is pretty much the most wildly ridiculous option either major party has put forward in living memory – if Hollywood made a movie with a character like this being nominated, it would be universally panned as totally implausible – and yet we still have only a 54/41 lead for Clinton. How…how…can 41% of the country support Trump? It boggles the mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  21. Tyrell says:

    @gVOR08: I think Putin has more to worry about from Hillary.
    Trump will make deals. Hillary might stand tough on some of these troublemakers: Iran, North Korea, ISIS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  22. jewelbomb says:

    @SKI: Okay, so I wasn’t reading him wrong, and JKB really was blaming FDR for the Great Depression. That comment is seriously so disconnected from reality that I actually read it three times because I couldn’t quite believe that someone would write something so bizarre.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  23. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    Hillary talks about “continuing the Obama legacy”. Not a good idea: too many problems – a veritable minefeld.
    “Hillary will be trying to get so far from Obama that she will even give him a free vacation – to outer Mongolia ! ” (am radio)

    Why should Hillary hide from Obama’s legacy?
    When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009 we were losing jobs at a rate of over 700,000 per month and the unemployment rate had rocketed up to over 10 percent. The crash of the financial system and housing market caused a loss of 25% (or $18 trillion) of the wealth of American citizens and businesses. Since then, through policies of QE and economic stimulus there has been nearly 6 years of steady economic growth, we’ve added over 8 million jobs. Also, the DJIA from gone from 8,000 to 18,000, important because Main Street Americans have their pension plans and investment funds in the equities markets.

    Why should she hide from that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  24. jukeboxgrad says:

    Just wait until the media, with their High Broderism, gets into the act. They want a horse race and by gum, they’re going to create one, even if the result of electing Trump will be another Great Depression.

    Yesterday Rush said something similar:

    My Gut: Trump Beats Hillary in Landslide … the media wants Donald Trump to be elected president … it’s gonna be the most fun four years they’ve ever had … It’s gonna be unexpected, unpredictable, ratings boosts and all kinds of stuff. Make no mistake: In the Drive-Bys, this is universal. There’s nothing exciting about Hillary Clinton.

    It will be fun to remember those words on 11/9, when zillions of Rs (maybe including Rush himself) will be making statements like this: ‘Trump lost because the lamestream media is in the tank for Hillary, as usual.’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. Matt says:

    @grumpy realist: Or the radiation… Fly ash tends to be radioactive for a reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. Mikey says:

    @jewelbomb: It’s conservative orthodoxy that FDR’s actions lengthened and deepened the Great Depression.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. EddieinCA says:

    @R. Dave:

    and yet we still have only a 54/41 lead for Clinton. How…how…can 41% of the country support Trump? It boggles the mind.

    25% is about the ceiling for the crazy vote in this country. That’s pure, batsh*t, crazy. That’s the number that still approved of Richard Nixon AFTER he left office for Watergate.

    Think about that. After resigning from the Presidency in disgrace in 1974, Nixon still had 25% of the American public saying he was doing a good job as president. Of remembering that number, Trump is currently polling less than that among women, Latinos, Asians, votoers under 30, etc.

    I’d like to see all Democrats start donating, and volunteering. With Trump’s current poll numbers, there is a good change to not only take the White House and Senate, but the House as well.

    Additionally, with Trump at the top of the ticket, there is a good chance of flipping the governorships of Indiana and North Carolina, given their LGBT issues.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  28. Tyrell says:

    @al-Ameda: Job market is still sluggish in many areas. Unemployment numbers do not include those who have given up looking. Gold continues to rise as the dollar weakens. Health insurance costs soaring: Obama Care insureds may see 40% increases next year. Economic signs indicate big problems ahead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    Really? Trump is going to be a creature of the unions and not permit wages to fall to match the lower business activity like FDR did?

    Was that it? I thought it was because the Tooth Fairy went off the gold standard. I’d have sworn Hannity said that. Or maybe it was Limbaugh….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0